Contributed by: Don WinnerBy DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - Over the weekend I was contacted by Beata Lewandowski, Tomek's widow who was with him aboard their sailboat the Luka the day he died, as well as some of their friends. Some of the details in the first article published about Tomek's death were incorrect, as they were relayed to me shortly after it happened.
According to Beata, Tomek didn't have any need to call for help when the steering went out on their sailboat near Isla Grande. He knew what he had to do and was in process of making the repair when the heart attack occurred. Beata made the call for help because they did not have steering, and they were drifting away from Portobelo and losing any chance to get medical assistance for Tomek.
They had four passengers aboard their sailboat for this trip from Cartagena to Portobelo, but none of them were paying passengers. Tom was just trying to help some people out. Two of the passengers were from the sunken Fritz the Cat sailboat - one of them was a Panamanian who was the cook on Fritz the Cat who simply wanted to return to Panama, and the other was a Polish friend who was going to work with Tom and Beata. The third was a Colombian woman whose husband was killed a month ago, who is now a widow with four children, and she is coming to Panama to look for work. The fourth was a Kuna indian coming back from Tortuga isla to Panama.
Beata told me "Tom's motto was 'there are no bad people, everyone is the best he can possible be' and 'in the end it's only important what good you did for others'." My heartfelt condolences to Tom's friends and family.
Copyright 2012 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.