Stephen Morris keeps hearing his 17-year-old brother Simeon Morris’ dying screams ringing in his ears again and again.
Like an unending nightmare, the sound of his brother calling his name as he was drowning at Silver Sands beach Sunday afternoon will not go away.
Recalling the horrific incident, Stephen told Barbados TODAY Monday afternoon he watched helplessly as his sibling struggled against the impossibly strong current that tossed him around for a short while, before he eventually disappeared.
“The thing happen so fast,” a saddened Stephen said as he lay in the comforting arms of his grieving mother Jennifer Giles at the home of a family member.
Barbados TODAY understands from a relative that Simeon, Stephen and two friends went into the sea to wash the sand off their bodies, following an enjoyable time frolicking on the sand at a family reunion, when the Christ Church Foundation School student lost his life.
An effort by another beachgoer to save him proved futile. His body was later pulled from the water by a sea bather near Silver Sands Hotel.
“We was play-fighting on the beach then we start to get like real sandy. So we say we will go and rinse off in the water and the current start carrying the four of we back, and me and the other boy we start to swim and go out.
“Simeon and the other boy was far, far back. Then Simeon start to holler for Steve but I couldn’t get to him,” Stephen said, the pain he was feeling manifesting itself vividly in his voice as he recalled those last moments of his sibling’s life.
He wanted to say more about the tragedy which took place around 3:45 p.m. However, the teenager, whose words were muffled by sobbing, was unable to continue.
Clearly traumatized by the loss of her son who celebrated his birthday on November 4, Giles stroked Stephen’s head as he wept, his face nestled in her arms.
“They told me somebody went to save Simeon and other boy who was with him and they got to the other boy first. But by the time he looked around my son had already gone. They recovered the body further down,”
The mother stated that she had not slept since she received word from a neighbour about the tragedy.
The pain that she felt was even more surreal as she identified the body.
Giles said just before the boys left their Cherry Grove, St John home for the reunion, she urged them to be careful.
Simeon, whom she described as a loving child, looked back, waved to let her know he had heard her, and went through the door, she recalled.
The mother said Simeon was not the perfect son, but he was popular at school and in his community for being well-mannered and respectful to those with whom he interacted.
“Everybody at the school knew who Simeon was, not because he was bad behave, but because of the type of person that he was.
“Even the principal call me and the guidance counsellor came and said this morning the school was in an uproar because they could not believe Simeon gone. He was really a good child,” she said.
Giles said her son wanted to become a doctor because he had a strong passion for helping people, and was focused on achieving his goal.
Simeon’s aunt Marcelle Prince said just two weeks ago the teenager was at her Christ Church home boasting about his cooking skills as he prepared a meal for her family. She said she too was devastated by the loss of her nephew, whom she was convinced had a bright future.
Staff and students at Christ Church Foundation did not handle the news well and had to be counselled.