A woman in her 30’s is lucky to be alive after being rescued from a 32-foot deep limestone well she fell into at Inch Marlow, Christ Church.
It was around 10:25 a.m. that National Conservation Commission (NCC) worker Tynicya Rollins fell into the well while on the job.
Almost an hour later, the mother of two was rescued, with cuts, bruises and pains about the body.
She was taken to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital by ambulance.
The incident has left her colleagues thanking the Barbados Fire Service for carrying out the rescue mission.
Rollins was alert when she came out of the well. But her fellow workers who were there in the initial moments told Barbados TODAY that the ordeal was a “scary experience” for both them and Rollins.
They said they admired how the injured woman kept her composure though she was in a difficult position, emotionally and physically.
Adrian Williams recounted that he was cutting a hedge and Rollins was close to him raking when she fell.
Williams said: “The same time she was walking around, she foot like it hit the slab. The well had on a cover and the cover looked decent, no crack or nothing. The same time she foot hit the slab she like stumbled back. [There was] nothing for her to hold on to but the rake. When she landed, I hear a sudden impact.
“I say wait what is that and the same time I look around for Tynicya and I ain’t see Tynicya. I thought Tynicya was behind the trees raking or something. But when I look I see the well cover now and like a big open space that I ain’t leave there.”
Loretta Anthony said when she looked into the well she saw Rollins scrambling to hold on to something, but there was nothing there.
Anthony said: “I look in and I say ‘Tynicya, you good?’ and she said ‘yes, I good, but don’t hold on the slab because underneath is breaking and it hitting me on my head all the time’.
“One body went ‘cross one side, I went ‘cross the other side running to see if I see the ambulance, the fire truck whatever that was coming. I am so happy that she is alive because it could have been worse because that is a water well, but no water was in it at the time. Thank God she is alive today, but it got me frightened. It could have been me.
“We wanted her to come out in one piece. She has two sweet little girls there and I ain’t want them to see them mother break up and she can’t help herself.”
Anthony, trembling as she recounted the ordeal to Barbados TODAY, was full of praise for the firefighters who responded to the scene.
She added: “I feel very pleased with them. They responded very quickly and they were effective. That was a good job that they have done and I think they need praises and they need ten thumbs up.
“They were very careful and gentle with her. The guy who went for her took his time and when he was coming up they kept spotlights on him. One person was up top directing him what to do.”
The NCC supervisor at the scene recalled that she was in the process of showing another worker how to carry out a task when she heard others screaming that Rollins had fallen into the well.
She said: “All of us was keeping her in talk. I was going to the well and I was calling out to her. The workers send down water for she to take and everything, and we were talking to her until assistance come. She was responding to us.”
The supervisor, who said she paced the area back and forth, praying until help came, said she was happy that the situation did not turn out worse.
She said she also took up the task of counselling other distraught workers at the scene.
The supervisor said: “I went off and I begin to pray that she would come out of there alive, because with God all things are possible.
“All of my workers are precious. You know, you do have your little differences, but I am happy that she is alive and all the honour and glory belongs to almighty God. Only this morning me and she was talking about not keeping things in you and about how God is in control of every situation.”
General Manager of the state-owned NCC, Keith Neblett, who also responded to the scene, thanked the first-responders for their exemplary performance, thankful that his employee was alive.
The general manager, who said the incident would be fully investigated, also appealed to people not to walk on well covers.
Neblett said: “I also tell people whenever you see wells, don’t walk on them. It is a standard practice; don’t walk on well covers because you don’t know how durable they are. That is one of the things we are going to have to be drilling in our staff heads.
“Wherever they work, there are a lot of these areas that have wells that are there for drainage. So we are going to have to remind them to avoid those things as much as possible.”
Fire officers responded from Bridgetown and Worthing fire stations with one rescue tender and two water tenders.