Butcher cousins to the rescue
December 27, 2013
Butcher cousins to the rescue

Their actions may have been hours and miles apart, but two cousins have come in for commendations for saving a life, and for finding the body of a flood victim.{{more}}

Though her life was not saved, the relatives of Kelsia James say they are grateful that her body was recovered, thanks to the efforts of Buccament Bay resident Chris Butcher and others.

Butcher discovered the body of the18-year-old St Vincent and the Grenadines Community College student Wednesday, while searching for her and her three year-old niece, Shalani.

Kelsia and Shalani, along with other family members, were swept away as they evacuated their Cane Grove home, when the Vermont river burst its banks and started to invade their home on December 24.

The rest of the family was rescued, but Kelsia and Shalani went missing.

On Christmas Day, Butcher’s birthday, a search team, including Butcher was looking in the Buccament Bay area close to Marty’s mini mart and gas station, approximately 300 metres from the home of Kelsia and Shelani, when he made the discovery.

“Whole night we were looking, so we just go down there and thing, and I was moving things out of the way with my hands,” Butcher told SEARCHLIGHT.

“I didn’t make out nothing, because the water was dark. I send down my hand to take up thing from in the water, so I think is piece ah wood, so when I lift up now I see is the girl. I get frighten so I just drop her and say ‘look the girl here.’”

Butcher said that the moment was bittersweet for him, because on one hand, he was glad that she had been found, and on the other hand, he was hoping that she would be found alive.

“Is me good friend. Me and she been kicksing off yesterday, because today is my birthday and I was to have a party and I tell her you have to come to my birthday party tonight.”

“Is Set For Life I does call she,” Butcher said, in reference to the lottery winnings of Kelsia’s mother, Stella, some years ago.

About ten hours before Butcher’s discovery, and about five miles away, his older cousin Nicholas Butcher saved the life of an employee of the Buccament Bay Resort, when the two were swept out to sea by the river.

The fisherman recounted that it was shortly after 8 p.m. when he and the female employee were walking on the road leading away from the resort’s main entrance.

“We was crossing the road when a mountain of water come down one time, high up in the air and overcome us.

“It throw us over head first into the sea, and nobody could see we.”

He told SEARCHLIGHT that he believes it was because of his years of experience at sea that he was able to hold on to the struggling woman and swim back to shore.

“I grab on to her shirt and pull her in. if it wasn’t for my swimming skills, she woulda dead.

“When we get to shore she give me a hug and she went back to the hotel,” he added.

The older Butcher said that although he was able to save a life, it was also a bittersweet experience for him.

He said he later learned that another woman, Jozel Small, lost her life in the same area a few hours after his experience.

“In all my life, I have never seen anything like this,” Butcher said.(JJ)