At the time of the accident, the workers were carrying out maintenance work on the Harbour Bridge.
iNews understands that the man died 22 meters from the tug.
According to the Public Works Ministry, Mr. Roopchand was on duty from 6 a.m. to facilitate a bridge inspection. However, he was advised at around 8 a.m. that the inspection was no longer needed and to moor the vessel at Span 8 – the normal docking position.
At approximately 11:40 a.m., a DHB Engineer observed that the tug “Rickford L” was capsized and that Mr. Roopchand was being swept downstream. The DHB’s maintenance boat, which is equipped with safety equipment, was immediately mobilized for the rescue of the West Bank Demerara resident.
Mr. Roopchand’s body was retrieved some 200 to 300 meters downstream of the bridge. CPR was immediately administered by fellow workers but their efforts were unsuccessful.
The DHB has mounted an internal investigation into the matter. The Maritime Administration Department (MARAD) and the Police were notified of the incident and are conducting independent investigations.
Mr. Roopchand was a licensed boat operator with DHB since July 25, 2013, and was an experienced captain. Mr. Roopchand’s wife and his next of kin were notified of the incident.
Minister of Public Works Hon. Robeson Benn and the General Manager (GM) Rawlston Adams expressed their deepest regrets at the incident.