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06.07.2009 Tragedy

Two Students of Pope John SHS Drowned

By Daily Graphic
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Two first-year students of the Pope John Senior High School in Koforidua who benefited from a free exeat given by the school authorities on Republic Day got drowned in the Birim River, near Anyinam.

The two, Marino Sharverli, 15, and Carl Nyarko, 16, together with Jerry Danso, 16, also a first-year student, went to the river on that fateful day at about 2.30 p.m.

Marino, who allegedly deceived his classmates to join him to enjoy a swimming pool close to his parents’ house at Anyinam, first walked into the water after removing his school uniform and wearing a swimming spectacle.

A few minutes after entering the overflowing river, he started drowning and shouted for help. The drowning Marino was said to have screamed out the name of Nyarko anytime he emerged from beneath the river and this compelled Nyarko to rush to his aid but he ended up drowning with him.

Danso, who was then standing at the bank of the river and witnessed the ordeal Marino was going through, first advised Nyarko not to go into the river to rescue Marino but he ignored the advice resulting in the death of the two classmates.

Narrating the incident to the Daily Graphic, Danso, who could not control his tears, said on Wednesday, at about 12.30 p.m. after they had finished a clean-up exercise on the school campus, Marino told him and Nyarko that there was a swimming pool near his parents’ house at Anyinam.

According to him, the three boarded an Anyinam-bound commercial vehicle from Koforidua and on arrival at their destination, Marino paid the fares.

“To our utter surprise, when we got down from the vehicle, Marino took us to the Birim River, which he claimed that he and other colleagues swam in a few days ago,” Danso stated.

He indicated that before they got close to the river, three men met them and advised them (the students) not to go near or swim in the river, since it was overflowing.

“Marino, however, paid no heed to the advice of the men and jumped into the river where he almost immediately started drowning.

He said while he ran to seek help, Nyarko dived into the river and before he (Danso) returned with a good Samaritan “Marino and Nyarko were nowhere to be found”.

Immediately, Danso stated, the good Samaritan dived into the river in a bid to search for the two classmates, but his efforts proved futile after which he left for school.

When the Daily Graphic contacted the Headmaster of the school, Mr Isaac Larweh Odonten, he confirmed the incident, saying immediately the school authorities heard of the unfortunate incident, delegations were sent to the areas to search for the two students.

Meanwhile at the time of filing this report, the headmaster had confirmed that the bodies of the two had been retrieved from the river in the early hours of yesterday.

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