Community spirit was at an all time high yesterday in Bartica in the wake of the sinking of a vessel that transported foodstuff and hardware in the Essequibo River at the Bartica Stelling.
About 10:00hrs yesterday at the Bartica Transport and Harbour Stelling, the MV Phyllis owned by Ryan Mahadeo and his brother Reuben Mahadeo, was carrying goods for the locally operated Ryan and Reuben General Store, on First Avenue, Bartica.
It was laden with goods and other merchandise. There were 15 slings of cement, a quantity of rice and sugar, and hardware. The captain of the vessel was Zanny Mahadeo, a brother.
Sources reported that by the time the boat reached the stelling it was fast being filled with water. Luckily, residents and boat operators were on hand and averted even greater disaster that could have resulted in the loss of at least two lives.
Regional Chairman Holbert Knights, who visited the scene shortly after the boat sank, observed about 15 boats and 20 people rendering assistance. He said that he saw several people jump into the river despite the fact that the tide was high at the time.
Among those who helped salvage items was President of the Bartica speedboat association, Gary Jordan,
Despite being covered in oil, he and others managed to salvage a large freezer from the submerged vessel.
But while there were those helping the Mahadeos, one speedboat operator was reportedly seen salvaging cylinders of cooking gas and some cases of soft drinks that were floating in the river. He reportedly made off with what he salvaged.
However, others at the scene denied that such a thing happened.
Knights said that there was co-operation from the womenfolk who did not mind getting wet to save what they could from the vessel, which up to late yesterday was still submerged in the Essequibo River.
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