Residents of Ortoire Village in Mayaro sprang into action early Friday to look for missing two-year-old Allon Ramdial.
But up to 6.15 pm on Friday, no one could confirm the child's whereabouts, and the massive search was still ongoing on and off shore.
The search team comprised civilians, including fishermen, the NGO Hunters Search and Rescue Team (HSRT) led by Vallence Rambharat, Mayaro / Rio Claro Regional Corporation (MRCRC) members, and others. It also included members of the protective services like police, Coast Guard and fire officers.
Allon vanished from his home near the Ortoire River in Mayaro. It is believed the child might have wandered off while his mother was asleep and been swept into the river.
The toddler lives at the fishing port in Ortoire Village with his mother Christinna Ramdial, 19. She reported to police that around 6. 30 am, the child could not be found.
Allon was last wearing a blue T-shirt and long blue pants.
A close relative spoke briefly by phone, saying the family was traumatised.
"As we speak, divers are still in the water looking for him. He is a nice little boy, so everyone is traumatised. I know his mother could swim very well, but I cannot say if she taught him to swim. Even so, I do not think a two-year-old child could swim in that volume of water.
"Right now, we are just hoping for the best."
MRCRC chairman Raymond Cozier said the corporation's disaster management unit workers were helping in the search.
"They are using drones up and down the river to try to get sight of the toddler. They saw something dark in the mang (mangrove), and the Coast Guard planned to check it out.
"The community is out there searching. The child's parents spent most of the day searching. I met the boy's grandmother and prayed with her. We cried out to God for the child to show up. The community is saddened. I spoke with some of the fishermen who know him, and they called him ‘the little genius’ because he is so smart."
Rambharat told Newsday his group is working with all stakeholders to find the child.
"So far, we have not had any luck, but we are staying the night. Our goal is to find him."
On May 9, Point Fortin residents joined in a similar massive search when they got the news that two-year-old Kimani Emmanuel Francis had gone missing.
Kimani, also called Mani, wandered away from his family's home in Techier Village. The toddler was barefoot and wore only a disposable diaper.
The next day, the search ended tragically as his body was found in the Guapo River.
An autopsy at the Forensic Science Centre in St James found he died from asphyxia consistent with drowning.
His funeral occurred on May 20 at the Bethel Pentecostal Church in Point Fortin.
Kimani's was buried at the Brighton Cato Cemetery in Gonzales Village.