Jet boat sinks in Mazaruni River, one missing
Twenty-three people have been accounted for, while one has been reported missing after yet another river mishap in the Mazaruni River yesterday afternoon.
The missing man has been identified as Ray Maniram of Canal Number One, West Bank Demerara.
Kaieteur News was told that the mishap occurred in the vicinity of Marshall Falls, Mazaruni River. Marshall Falls is located about 20 miles from Bartica. According to Leanna Carroll, 17, one of the survivors, the incident occurred between noon and 13:00hrs, yesterday.
Kaieteur News was told that the boat was filled with friends and family who were touring a few sites in the Mazaruni River.
She recounted that the boat left Bartica, Region Seven, at 8:00 am and several stops were made along the way. Carroll, who is an overseas-based Guyanese, had returned home for a vacation and her family decided to have a fun-filled weekend in Bartica.
She explained that the incident happened after the “jet boat” that was heading to Marshall Falls along the rapids came into contact with a rope leading to a pontoon.
Kaieteur News was told the exact thing by David Itwaru, 18, another passenger. He said that the speedboat came into contact with an iron rope which was attached to a pontoon, upon impact the boat was pushed into the side of the pontoon and passengers were thrown out of the boat which began to sink. Itwaru who seemed composed but was constantly holding his back, recounted events leading up to their rescue.
He said that a Brazilian tour boat which was traversing the waterway and upon seeing their distress in the water traveled to the nearest shore and offloaded its passengers and returned.
Itwaru said that he was the first to climb onto the boat and started pulling his family and friends from the water.
While most of the passengers remained in Bartica, five passengers were sent to the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) for medical attention.
The passengers appeared to be not seriously injured but precaution was still being taken.
A doctor, one Mrs. Persaud, was part of the holidaying party. Upon arrival at the GPHC she entered the Accident and Emergency Unit and helped provide medical attention to her fellow passengers of the mishap.
Injured and treated at the Georgetown Public Hospital were Leanna Carroll, 17; Gabriella Persaud, 10 (Dr. Persaud’s daughter); David Itwaru, 18, Anil Parbhutiar; Roma Persaud, 49; and Danny Persaud, 57.
Meanwhile Kaieteur News was told that the boat owner, Mr. Balkarran was in police custody up to late last night. However, the police at Leonora and Parika insisted that they had no one by that name in custody.
Balkarran’s wife told this newspaper that she was trying to retain the services of a lawyer.
Balkarran, along with the police and other officials had visited the scene of the accident.