A 57-year-old man was up to last night clinging to life after he was maimed in a speedboat collision in the Demerara River.
Tulsiram Sukdeo of Vreed-en-Hoop, received severe head injuries after a Honduras- registered vessel slammed into a passenger speedboat yesterday morning around 8:20 hrs.
Vishan Dat, who was the “Bow man” for the speedboat, said that the accident happened around 8:20 hrs yesterday morning at they approaching Georgetown.
Dat said that they were coming from Vreed-en-Hoop to Georgetown with 32 passengers, including himself and the captain, Oswald Benjamin. He said that it was while the boat was in the middle of the river that they saw a vessel coming at a fast rate.
He said that he immediately signaled the captain, Benjamin, to slow down. Then they stopped. He said that at the time the river was rough.
When the boat stopped, he said that he stood up and tried his best to signal the oncoming vessel to slow down, but it kept coming at a fast rate in their direction.
“I stand up and signaled that there is another boat in front, asking them to slow down,” Dat explained. The “Bow man” said that he failed miserably because the boat increased its speed.
He said that after he saw that the boat was not slowing down and kept heading in their direction his last resort was to jump overboard just before the collision, in an effort to save his life.
“I swear that I done dead because I jump overboard and hear de collision, but I open meh eye and see de sun and I know that I was alive”, Dat explained.
The man said that after the other vessel hit the speedboat, it stopped for a few seconds and shouted at the passengers, “‘Y’all ain’t see we coming’ and suck dey teeth and speed away.” He said that three other speedboats circled the stricken vessel and rescued him.
Another passenger who was on board, Joyann Fields, told this newspaper that she was amazed that the other vessel just sped away without even trying to see if anyone was injured. “They behave like if is dogs they knock down and just drive away”.
When this newspaper spoke to Sukdeo’s daughter, Nasema Singh, she said that received a call from her cousin informing her about the accident. At the time she was at work and immediately rushed to the hospital. The distraught daughter also lamented the fact the other vessel just drove away without even rendering assistance.
According to Singh the doctors at the institution have informed the family that Sukdeo has lost his left eye, and there is a fifty-fifty chance that he will survive the horrific injury.
“He is on life support”. She said that she would love the opportunity to meet the people who were piloting the other vessel.
“I would definitely like to see them just to ask why did they drive away without even rendering any assistance to my father.”
The father of three was up to press time in the Intensive Care Unit of the Georgetown Public Hospital.
According to a police press release, the other vessel, which is a Honduras registered S/V GEO, was at the time ferrying workers out to a “mother ship” when it collided with a passenger boat plying between the Vreed-en-Hoop and Georgetown Ferry Stellings.
The vessel, which was involved in the accident, is responsible for the surveying of the ocean and the laying of underwater cables in Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago and Suriname.
The vessel has since been detained and crew members are being questioned by the marine police. At the time of the collision, the Honduras-registered vessel had three persons on board.
Harbour Master, Volton Skeete, said that based on what he was told, the S/V GEO did stop after the accident.
However the foreign crew members allege that after they saw the agitation of the passengers on the speedboat they panicked and headed for the mother ship, which is moored in the Atlantic, at least 12 miles from shore.
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