Bodies recovered in Essequibo River boat mishap

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Commander for Regional Police Division Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni) Senior Superintendent Dion Moore has confirmed that the bodies of the two persons who were missing in an Essequibo River boat mishap have been found.

The bodies are at the Bartica Hospital’s mortuary awaiting postmortems which are scheduled for tomorrow.

The mishap occurred sometime between 18:45h and 19:00h on Saturday in the vicinity of Calf Island, Essequibo River.

The vessel was captained by 34-year-old Jermin Blackman of Two Miles Potaro Road, Bartica, Region Seven. His bowman was 18-year-old Lamuel Allen of Four Miles, Bartica.

In addition to the two boat operators, there were 10 passengers in the vessel at the time of the incident including popular entertainer, Darrel Romeo called ‘Magnum’.

Blackman told investigators that they left Parika Stelling en-route to Bartica and during the journey, the vessel while navigating around a damaged Beacon which is about 100 feet east of Calf Island in the Essequibo River, collided with the beacon.

This resulted in the boat being punctured and beginning to sink. The captain said he attempted to sail to shore but the vessel sunk before reaching shore.

As a result, the passengers began swimming to the shore for safety. Information was circulated and public-spirited persons from Bartica went to the location and assisted in rescuing the survivors.

Upon checking, however, it was discovered that two persons were unaccounted for.

Police say it is unclear at this stage whether all the passengers were wearing life jackets at the time of the incident.

Nevertheless, the survivors were taken to Bartica Regional Hospital to seek medical attention and are being assessed.

Both the Captain and Bowman are in custody assisting with investigations.