The only word that could describe 57-year-old Tulsiram Sukdeo, the victim of the Demerara River boat accident, is “remarkable”. The father of three had his face almost severed during an early morning accident last Friday in the Demerara River between a passenger boat and a Honduras-registered vessel.
The man had extensive injuries to his face and underwent emergency surgery shortly after reaching the hospital. Tulsiram, however, lost his left eye as a result of the accident.
Tulsiram has been removed from the Intensive Care Unit and is presently recovering in the High Dependency Unit of the Georgetown Public Hospital.
On Wednesday, in hospital, Tulsiram was surrounded by relatives who were excited to see that he was responsive and talking to them. His daughter, Nasema Singh, said that she was most grateful to have her father alive and out of danger.
“We are happy to see him recovering and thankful that he is alive” Singh said.
According to the man’s daughter, he is still unable to remember what happened to him and they are not telling him what happened either.
“He really doesn’t know what happened or why he is in the hospital”.
She said that the family is still vigorously pursuing the matter because they plan to take legal action against the perpetrators.
“My brother is following up that aspect; the police are waiting on my father to give them a statement,” Singh explained.
The daughter said that she is, however, unclear of the number of persons who were held in connection with the accident that are still in police custody. This newspaper was unable to ascertain if the persons were still in custody. A completed investigation had been done and it had included recommendations, which were submitted to the Director General of the Maritime Administration Department, Claudette Rogers.
That same report has also been submitted to the police; investigations are continuing.
Vishan Dat, who was the “Bow man” for the speedboat, had told Kaieteur News 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 very rough.
When the boat stopped, he said, 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. He was rescued by other speedboat operators who rushed to the scene.
The police stated that 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.
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