Speaking to Arthur after he emerged from the forest, Newsday was told that he lost his group while trekking up to the Yara River in Blanchisseuse. “The last person in the group was about fifteen minutes ahead of me in the river,” said Arthur. “But I can’t swim. I had my life jacket, but it so happened that as I entered the water, my life jacket burst. That was when the drama started. I had to fight for my life right there and then, because I could have drowned.” Arthur said he managed to get out of the water and was trying to follow the trail of the hikers, but he stopped to eat something and by that time he finished eating, the group was gone. Nighttime soon arrived so Arthur decided that the safest bet for him would be to stay where he was and hope that in the morning (Sunday) people would come to his rescue.
He spent Saturday night sleeping on the river bed. When he woke on Sunday morning, he realised no one had yet come to his aid.
Rain had fallen during the day as well making the river impossible to cross. A hungry and frightened Arthur tried to find locate the trail that would lead back to where the hike started in Maracas/St Joseph, but he got lost as he made his way deeper into the dense forest.
He told reporters that on Monday he walked through the forest searching for a way out and eventually came upon an empty shack, which Newsday understands, is used by hunters. Night had come again and Arthur was no closer to being rescued. With very little food or water, Arthur scavenged the shack for seasoning and greens, and took refuge there for the night, intending to return to the river bed the next morning. Yesterday morning Arthur was on his way back to the river bank, when he had to take a detour around a steep waterfall.
The decision turned out to work in his favour, as he was discovered by search and rescue officers. As soon as the search and rescue team found him, they gave him nuts, chocolate and raisins, to raise his energy. The rescue team then carefully guided him out of the forest.
“I am being honest, me and water is not friends at all, so if I have to go to another hike it would have to be without water. I need to dry off right now. I think I would be back, I’ll take a break, and no more water.
I always had an inner strength that kept me going. I never gave up hope, but I could not believe that I had the strength to survive for four days in the forest. When I get home, I am going to play some video games, listen to Hott 93 and forget this whole ordeal happened.” Arthur said.