Five rescued, four missing after tug sinks
Four persons are missing and are feared dead after a tug which was pulling a pontoon sank just off the mouth of the Moruca River early yesterday morning.
This publication understands that the tug is owned by an individual in Pomeroon identified as Captain Vansluytman while the pontoon belongs to a Captain Da Silva of Roden Rust, Essequibo.
Both Captains are missing and are feared dead along with two others identified as Michael Fredericks and Elliot Jack.
Kaieteur News understands that the vessels (tug and pontoon) left for the Region One Area sometime around noon on Wednesday but encountered problems just after 01:00 hours yesterday, owing to the weather while in the vicinity of the mouth of the Moruca River.
According to reports, when they men realized that the tug was encountering difficulty, they jumped into the river.
Five of them managed to make it to the pontoon, while the other four disappeared.
Elbert Jack, father of one of the missing men said that he was informed that his son might still be clinging on to a light raft.
Jack related that when the tug went down, four of the men managed to make it to the pontoon on which they clung until they were rescued.
He said that another man who was holding on to a floating object was rescued yesterday afternoon.
“They say my son float off and get carry away by the breeze,” Jack told this newspaper.
The tug and pontoon was at the time transporting an excavator along with some other mining equipment when the mishap occurred.
The equipment was part of a new gold mining operation that was being set up in the North West District.
This publication understands that there was very poor visibility owing to the heavy rains along with severely rough waters which caused the vessels to sink.
A search team has since been deployed with supplies from Moruca for the missing men.
But Jack is livid at the response to the tragedy by maritime officials.
According to him, when he contacted the Harbour Master around midday yesterday, that office was reportedly unaware of the tragedy.
“He did not receive a report from the police. They tell me they gon ask CGX fuh lend them a helicopter. The marine place don’t have any response capability, they don’t even know when the vessel left,” Jack stated.
He said that he spoke to Mr. Porter of the GDF Coastguard but was not too satisfied with the response he received.
“They tell me that the helicopter can’t fly over water. If they can’t even respond to find a vessel that gone down in a given area, how they gon respond to piracy where the pirate got fast boat and radio sets? You ain’t see they fooling the fishermen?” Jack declared.