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US-based Guyanese brothers drown in Puerto Rico

Last Updated on Friday, 12 November 2021, 13:00 by Denis Chabrol

Ryan and Rawle Fortune

Two United States-based Guyanese brothers drowned on Tuesday

They have been identified as Ryan and Rawle Fortune of Vryheid’s Lust, East Coast Demerara.

They are the nephews of well-known Physical Education Teacher and coach, Johnny ‘Overseas’ Barnwell.

Mr. Barnwell told Demerara Waves Online News/News-Talk Radio Guyana 103.1 FM that Rawle visited Guyana last month. “It grieve me to see that both of them have gone and my sister is in a devastated state now; it’s her two big children,” he said.

Their mother is Lucille Barnwell, a former employee of Fogarty’s store.

NBC Washington reports that the Fortune brothers from Prince George’s County drowned Tuesday when they were swept away by a rip current while vacationing in Puerto Rico.

Ryan and Rawle Fortune went to San Juan to celebrate Rawle’s birthday.

Ryan’s wife said the brothers went swimming in the ocean and drowned near their hotel.

“We thought they were fine, and you can’t really tell how far they were out, and then all of a sudden they disappeared,” Nakia Wilson-Fortune said through tears. “We couldn’t see them, and I couldn’t find them.”

She said hotel guests and paramedics could not save them.

“Those two boys were my heart,” said their father, Arnold Fortune. “I love those boys.”

Ryan, 46, worked for Metro. Rawle, 40, was a retired Marine who became a DJ and a real estate agent.

“I want them to be remembered for the good guys they were,” their father said.

Ryan leaves behind a wife, four children and two grandchildren.  Rawle leaves behind four children.

“The legacy they leave are their kids,” their father said.

The family is planning to bring their bodies home early next week.