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Wife ‘couldn’t save’ husband killed in lightning strike

What started off as a relaxing three-day fishing trip for newlyweds Wyena Russell-Colebrooke and Clarence Colebrooke came to an abrupt end after the 65-year-old man was struck and killed by lightning.

Russell-Colebrooke, 55, told The Nassau Guardian, “I was driving the boat and saw a light flashed and I heard a hard hit. It hit me down.

“I was out for couple of minutes. I got up and I looked around. The boat wouldn’t start anymore and I saw Clarence outside the boat [in the water]. He drifted toward me.

“I pulled him out the water by his neck but he was already dead. I held him and tried to put him in the boat. I lifted him and I tried but I could not lift him into the boat, so I had to let him go.”

Russell-Colebrooke said she immediately called relatives in Red Bay, Andros, where she lives, to tell them what had happened and ask for assistance.

She said the wait was nerve-wracking because she could see her husband’s body drifting farther away into the sea.

“He drifted out to sea,” Russell-Colebrooke said.

“I stood up and I watched him drift out to sea.”

She said when assistance came she instructed them to rescue her husband’s body before coming for her.

Russell-Colebrooke said the incident was unexpected because there were no clouds in the sky when they went out to sea.

“It was calm,” she said.

“The rain came from nowhere. It was not raining when we left from home. There was no bad weather. It was not raining. We did not go out in any bad weather. The sun was hot.”

Asked about her last conversation with her husband, whom she married a year ago, she said, “He was telling me about the weather.”

Russell-Colebrooke described watching her husband die as “the hardest thing ever”.

“I couldn’t believe it,” she said.

“I tried to help him but I couldn’t do anything. But I’ll always remember him as a good husband and a loving man.”

Clarence Colebrooke, a father-of-five, worked for the Water and Sewerage Corporation for 28 years before retiring five years ago, according to Russell-Colebrooke.

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Jasper Ward

Jasper Ward started at The Nassau Guardian in September 2018. Ward covers a wide range of national and social issues. Education: Goldsmiths, University of London, MA in Race, Media and Social Justice

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