Soldier applauded for bravery in saving baby during boat mishap

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Chief-of-Staff (ag) of the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) Colonel Omar Khan, on Monday, met with the soldier whose photograph has been making rounds on social media because of his heroic and instinctive act of rescuing a baby after the boat he, the child’s mother and other passengers were travelling in, started to take in water in the Essequibo River on Saturday last.

Colonel Khan thanked Lance Corporal Shamar Garraway for his selfless action which displayed both his humanitarian and military attributes.

Garraway, who is also a father to a one-year-old boy, explained that he was forced to move to the boat’s bow as it moved toward the trees where they were able to wait until they were rescued.

Garraway would have quickly assessed the situation and recognised that the very young baby would be most at risk. As a result, he disembarked and sought to provide safety and care for the infant.

“I know I had to help the baby, as, with any emergency, babies and young children are a priority. So Mr Ignatius [another passenger] took the baby first as the mother cried out for help. I told him I would go into the tree so I could be comfortable to hold the baby properly. I then collected him while his mother got help from others with her other child,” he recounted.

He noted that even though it is instinctive to render assistance in times of tragedy, it took courage to remain calm and offer selfless service.

Garraway, who hails from Zorg, Essequibo Coast only recently celebrated his 5th anniversary of service to Guyana.

The twenty-three-year-old says he is grateful that he was able to render assistance and most of all, that there were no casualties.

Colonel Khan noted that Garraway represented the Force well, both in and out of uniform.

Meanwhile, businessman Azruddin Mohamed has also joined in saluting the soldier and others who rendered assistance to the baby as well as two toddlers following the boat mishap.

In addition to Garraway, Mohamed recognised the efforts of Kwasi Ace Edmondson, Michael Ignatius and Chris Gopaul.

A message posted on his Facebook Page reads, “Team Mohamed’s saluted the bravery of the young men and thanked them for being heroes to those children whose lives were saved. It is acts such as these, citizens of all walks of life should emulate no matter their status in society.”