Blind Boy Rescued From Island
Phillip Enright with his Father pictured above.
Today we interviewed a 12 year old, blind boy, named Phillip Enright. He was recently rescued from an island, where he was found alone. Phillip was asked many questions about how he got to the island, and what it was like being there. You will not believe this amazing survival story.
We asked Philip how he came to be on the island? He responded, "I was on a boat leaving Curacao with my mother because of the war dangers. The boat we were on , was torpedoed, and I was separated from my mother in the blast. I was rescued from the sea by a black man named Timothy. He brought me onto his raft and we drifted at sea for many days until we came upon the Cay, where I was found." We were amazed at how brave he must had been, being separated from his mother, and rescued by a stranger.
The young boy stated, the large black man who rescued him was "Timothy". He said they survived on the raft with only, "a water keg, a few biscuits and chocolate pieces that we ate and drank a little at a time." Phillip said Timothy was really smart when it came to survival and being at sea, and that without Timothy he surely would have been eaten up by the sharks. He said, "Timothy would use our clothes during the day to make a tarp to shelter us from the blistering sun. At night we would curl up together to stay warm, and there was a cat on board the raft that would sleep over my feet each night." The cat we found out was named, "Stew Cat".
Apparently the boy had his full sight when he was leaving Curacao, so we were curious to find out, how he became blind? He said, "It was a couple days after I was rescued when I began to loose my sight from looking at the sun over the sea. Timothy had warned me not to look at the sun or the water too long. I guess I did not realize what would happen." Phillip said he was happy that he had not been blind when he was rescued because he would have hated to not know what Timothy look liked. He said Timothy took care of him, and helped him learn how to survive with no sight. Phillip said, "Timothy taught me each day how to take care of myself and survive on the island. I was very scared, but I knew that Timothy would want me to be brave and use everything that he taught me. Timothy and I ate longosta that he would catch right at the shore. Timothy taught me how to catch the longosta as well. I would also climb the palms to get coconuts for the milk and meat. Timothy built a hut out of palms; we would sleep there, and use it for shelter from the hot sun."
The young man had been rescued alone, so we wanted to know what happened to this Timothy that had done so much to help and care for him? Phillip told us, "there was a hurricane and Timothy was protecting me on high ground from the waves and the wind. He lost his life saving mine. I buried Timothy on high ground underneath the palm. His skin was torn to ribbons from the beating of the storm, and I was very sad to loose my friend." This news was shocking, and we wanted to know how the blind boy survived without the eyes of Timothy? He said, " I knew Timothy would want me to keep believing that I would be rescued, and make it back home. I just remembered everything he taught me about surviving, and did the things he told me."
We were interested in how Phillip came to be rescued, so we asked him to tell us?
Phillip said, "I heard a plane engine in the distance. I remembered that Timothy would try to signal planes with fire and smoke. So I burned palms to make black smoke for the plane to see. The plane flew away, and I was horrified that the plane was my last chance to be found. I knew I would not be able to make it much longer alone." Phillip explained the plane could not land on the small island, and he remembered Timothy telling him just how small the island was and that is was surrounded by coral. Then the most wonderful noise came from the distance, a boat engine! Phillip said, "I was the most grateful person alive. All I could do was scream and scream, “here, I am over here”. I was never happier to meet a stranger than I was at that moment."
We asked Phillip what plans he has now that he is home? "I just want to be with my family, and be thankful for the life that I have to live. I want to go to school, and be with my friends", the boy stated.
When asked what the experience has taught him, the young blind boy had this to say. "I think the most important thing that I have learned is that people should not be judged by how they look. People can surprise you and you can learn something from everyone. Timothy was a black man, but without him, I surely would have died. I want for black and whites to be treated the same. I may have lost sight, but I see the world clearer now than I ever did with two good eyes" We could all learn a little something from this amazing young man and his story.
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He was a kind-hearted man and will be remembered as the man who saved Phillip Enright. He sheltered Phillip from a hurricane on a island where they were stranded, and this caused him to loose his life.
Timothy was unsure of his age, but we know he was older than 70. He had experienced many things in his life. He was a very smart man, even though he could not read or write, he had a great understanding of the world. He had many things to offer and teach people in his life.
Timothy spent most of his life working as a deckhand on ships around the islands of the Caribbean. He had dreamed of someday becoming a ships captain, however that dream never came true. He was scarred and and had evidence of wounds from the work that he had down for many years on the hot decks of the ships.
We do not believe Timothy has any surviving family members. Timothy did not know his mother and father, and he was raised by a woman named Hannah Gumb on the island of St. Thomas.
Timothy will be remembered fondly, and most of all for his courage and rescuing Phillip Enright.