Injured teen makes significant recovery
Jet boat accident …
– Man still missing
Seventeen-year-old Romona Persaud, the US-based Guyanese who was involved in the boat accident in the Mazaruni River, has now
regained consciousness. She is currently in the Intensive Care Unit of the Georgetown Hospital.
The mishap occurred in the vicinity of Marshall Falls, Mazaruni River, when the speedboat came into contact with a rope which was attached to a pontoon. The impact forced the boat into the side of the pontoon and passengers were thrown out of the boat which began to sink.
Persaud’s relatives told Kaieteur News yesterday that the teenager is “almost back to her usual self”. However, they say the young girl has no recollection of the incident.
“She can speak properly and even laugh with us,” one relative stated. This newspaper was told that her adopted parents flew into Guyana yesterday morning after receiving reports about the mishap.
The young girl began opening her eyes around lunch time yesterday and began speaking with her mother.
Her father, Gregory Buntz, said that he was extremely pleased and relieved to know that his daughter was recovering at a fast rate.
“She is conscious, talking and we are just happy,” Buntz told this publication.
Kaieteur News understands that this was the first visit by Persaud to Guyana after spending some 14 years abroad.
Meanwhile, relatives of the missing man, Ray Maniram of Canal Number One, West Bank Demerara, yesterday refused to speak to Kaieteur News.
“We are not speaking to anyone….and we can’t give out any information,” said one relative.
Kaieteur News was told by police sources that the man’s body had not been located, this was up to press time.
Maniram along with 23 others, including relatives and friends, were heading to Marshall Falls for a tour.
According to Leanna Carroll, 17, one of the survivors, the incident occurred between noon and 13:00hrs on Monday. She recounted that the boat left Bartica at 08:00hrs and several stops were made along the way.
Carroll, who is also 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.
This was echoed 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.
He said that a Brazilian tour boat was traversing the waterway and upon seeing their distress, travelled to the nearest shore, 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 were sent to the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) for medical attention.
Injured and treated at the Georgetown Public Hospital were Leanna Carroll, 17; Gabriella Persaud, 10, Dr. Kayitra Persaud, who is a doctor at the West Demerara Regional Hospital; David Itwaru, 18, Anil Parbhutiar; Roma Persaud, 49; and Danny Persaud, 57.
The hospital confirmed that all of the injured persons, except Romona Persaud, have been released from the institution.
Meanwhile Kaieteur News was told that the boat owner, Mr. Balkarran Bhagwandas, has been released from police custody.
The police are still continuing investigations.