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Strong currents, low tides thwart search for Gabriella
Strong underwater currents yesterday forced Coast Guard officers to abandon the search for six-year-old Gabriella Marcano, who is believed to have drowned in Moruga on Sunday.
Last night, however, relatives of the little girl chastised the Coast Guard for not spending more time looking for her.
In an interview earlier, Coast Guard public relations officer Lt Kirk Jean-Baptiste, said divers had spent four hours combing the sea and river mouths in Moruga yesterday. However, he said the search had to be called off because of strong currents and low tides, since it was impossible for the divers to operate effectively in such conditions.
Jean-Baptiste assured the search would continue today, adding divers would widen their search according to the patterns of the current.
Meanwhile, Marcano’s relatives continued their own search on the coastline yesterday hoping to find her body.
Her distraught father, Shawn Matthews, said the divers were not doing enough to recover his daughter. “I left home around 4 o’clock and reached there around 5.45 am and when I got there it didn’t have any Coast Guard. They came after 8 am and they searched for half an hour and then they called off the search saying it has low tides,” Matthews said.
He said he found it disrespectful that his child was missing and the divers had just abandoned the search. Matthews, who spent the morning searching along with the child’s mother, Kelly Marcano, said he wanted the Coast Guard to move with greater haste in searching for Gabriella, and said he hoped they would do much better today.
Gabriella, a student of the Bishop Anstey Girls’ Primary School in San Fernando, disappeared while playing near the river mouth during a family outing on Sunday afternoon. Police said the child had gone to the beach with her parents. Around 3.20 pm she was playing in the water with her brother and sister, but some time afterwards her parents realised she was missing.
At their Pleasantville, San Fernando home yesterday, Gabriella’s uncle John Small said he last saw the child on Sunday morning and told her to be careful on the beach. Small, a former lifeguard, said there were a number of possibilities why the child went missing, but expressed hope that her body would be recovered soon.
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