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Stephen Marcano, a Fire officer attached to the Savonetta Fire Station drowned on Sunday, in Mayaro while attempting to save his niece and ended up in difficulty.

Sascha Wilson

Firefighter Stephen Marcano who drowned while trying to save his relative at a Mayaro beach on Sunday will be given a hero send-off. A military funeral service will be held at the Seventh Day Adventist Church, Springland, Gasparillo.

The date and time of the funeral, however, has not yet been finalised. Marcano, 39, of Gasparillo, last attached to the Savonetta Fire Station ran into the water, even though he could not swim, to rescue his niece who was in difficulty.

The tragedy occurred around 5.30 pm at a beach off Vicks Avenue, Guayaguayare. He had taken his wife Patrice, his two sons, ages 11 and 14, to the beach to celebrate her 31st birthday.

His mother Shirley Bass, 72, said Marcano never liked bathing in the sea because his youngest brother drowned about 20 years ago.

In a release yesterday Chief Fire Officer Marlon Smith said officers are in a state of mourning over Marcano’s loss.

He said, “Mr Marcano went beyond the call, by saving the life of his relative who came into difficulty whilst in the water at Mayaro beach. He, however, paid the ultimate price after finding himself in difficulties.” Expressing condolences to the family and friends, he added, “We pray that the family and friends of the fallen officer can find peace during this time of grief.”

Marcano was enlisted to the service on July 21, 2009.

Meanwhile, the family of Shivanie Ramkarran, 24, who also drowned at a beach in Guayaguayare, are still waiting for the autopsy to be done. Ramkarran who was supposed to have graduated with a business degree from COSTAATT next month went to the beach on Monday with her boyfriend to continue their birthday celebrations.

They both celebrated their birthdays on Sunday. Jonathan Loutan, 25, recalled how the current suddenly became very strong and they both got into difficulties. He said he tried to save her while screaming for help. His father eventually came to their rescue, but by then Rambarran was already floating facedown.

Loutan said he had already built his house and was planning to marry her. They were together for five years. Rambarran’s aunt Nerisha Rambaran said health officials at the mortuary at the Mount Hope hospital took a swab sample from her niece’s body yesterday to do a COVID-19 test.

She said the result usually takes 48 hours so they are hoping that on Friday the autopsy would be done. If that happens, they would likely arrange the funeral for Saturday under Hindu rites.

Mayaro police are investigating.