Mumbai: Emotional farewell for sailor Russel Rebello

A tearful Rebello family bid their final adieu to Russel on Sunday afternoon; after running around for three years to get his brother’s body back, Kevin said he is finally at peace

It was an emotional day for the friends and family of Russel Rebello, as he was laid to rest on Sunday afternoon, three years after his demise. Russel was inside the Costa Concordia cruise ship that sank considered one of the worst maritime disasters in recent times in Italy.

Kevin Rebello shows a picture of his brother Russel near the stricken ship Costa Concordia. File pic
Kevin Rebello shows a picture of his brother Russel near the stricken ship Costa Concordia. File pic

A sea of people well-wishers, friends and members of the family bid their final goodbye to the sailor under the blistering sun, and Kevin, Russel’s brother, said he was finally at peace. “I was first to reach the place when I found out about the incident, and was the last one to leave.

Russel was laid to rest at Mother Of God Church last afternoon
Russel was laid to rest at Mother Of God Church last afternoon

The last three years were quite emotional a lot of anger, frustration and anticipation and we faced a lot of hurdles. But finally, the thousands of prayers helped us get him back,” said Kevin, who had been running from pillar to post to find, and finally get his brother’s remains back to the country.

January 17, 2012
January 17, 2012

Russel’s mortal remains reached the city on Saturday, around 6.30 pm. The family was able to bring his coffin to their Naigaon residence at 3.30 am. The burial took place at the Mother Of God Church at 4 pm yesterday. Kevin said that he was unable to get any of his brother’s belongings, most of which were lost in the shipwreck.

January 18, 2012
January 18, 2012

He was only able to salvage his life jacket and a piece of the rock which the Costa Concordia struck. “The night I reached the place of the incident, I must have spoken to around 400 people. I just wanted to get my brother back.

April 4, 2012
April 4, 2012

Dealing with authorities on foreign land was a completely different task, but I always had hope that we will reach him,” Kevin said, adding, “Since childhood, it was Russel’s dream to work on a ship; I am happy he was able to fulfil it.”

'Lost a friend and my roommate'
29-year-old Sydney Barbosa was not only Russel’s friend, he had also been sharing a room with him on the ship.

January 9, 2013
January 9, 2013

Barbosa said it was still hard to believe that Russel was not with them anymore, “We had become very good friends in the five years we were working together.

October 9, 2013
October 9, 2013

We had been working and sharing a room since 2009, and the tragedy changed our lives completely.” Recounting the fateful day, Barbosa said, “Just a few minutes before the ship struck, I had entered the room and asked Russel if he was planning to come out. He was watching a movie on his laptop and told me he was not feeling well.

February 12, 2015
February 12, 2015

Suddenly, we felt a jerk and the bottle on our desk fell. He removed his headphones and we saw water gushing inside the deck. After that, we were running around, trying to save as many people as we could. We ran into each other twice that time, and after three years I am seeing him now.”

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