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Man, 23, drowns in pond

By Carolyn Kissoon carolyn.kissoon@trinidadexpress.com

A Rio Claro man drowned while bathing in a pond near his home on Sunday, after his wave for help was misinterpreted by friends.

Darren Charles, 23, was found lying at the bottom of the muddy pond, an hour after he dived in.

Relatives said Charles, of Pascal Trace, Brothers Road, was with a group of friends when he decided to enter the water, at around 5.30 p.m.

His sister, Stacy Charles, said, "My brother decided to stay home for Carnival this year, so his friends came up with a plan to build a camp in the bushes, near the pond, to spend the Carnival weekend."

She said, "Yesterday they went to build the pond. His friends said when they were about to leave my brother said he was feeling warm and dive into the pond. He came up a few times. One time he wave to them, but they didn't know if it was a signal for help."

Stacy said her brother was a good swimmer.

"His friends waited for a while and when they didn't see him they went looking for him. A friend who is a lifeguard came and dove under the water and found him at the bottom of the pond," she said.

Charles was taken to the Rio Claro Health Centre, where he was pronounced dead.

"My brother was looking forward to marrying his girlfriend and starting a family this year. He did any kind of work you can think about. And he was a footballer," his sister said.

Charles' body was removed to the San Fernando General Hospital Mortuary, where an autopsy will be performed today.

He is expected to be laid to rest tomorrow.

"My brother always said when he died he want us to have a good time. He want us to play his favourite music and be happy always," Stacy said.

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