A father of one who was on his way home to surprise his wife is now dead and his work colleague critical after the boat they were travelling in was run over by another boat in the Essequibo River on Friday evening last. The incident occurred around 18:15 hours on Friday in the vicinity of Northern Hogg Island.
Reports are that the police fished out the body of 28-year-old Vidyanand Singh, called ‘Patello’ of Tuschen, East Bank Essequibo, from the Essequibo River early yesterday morning.
This newspaper was told that Singh along with Dookram Herronimo, 69, boat captain James Sanasie, Mukeen Hussain and three others were on their way out to Hogg Island when the incident occurred.
This newspaper was told that the men were in a boat which was being piloted by James Sanasie. While in the vicinity of Hogg Island, another vessel, which was also in the river, collided with them.
The boat captain who spoke to this newspaper said that he and the other six men who were in the boat are all employed by S. Khan Construction Company.
Sanasie related that he had just picked up the men from a construction site in Western Hogg Island and they were heading to another part of Hogg Island so that the men could get transportation to Parika. “We got two work site, one in Wakenaam and one on Western Hogg Island, so I had to drop some of dem off at the boat landing at Hogg Island. And then I had to go to Wakenaam”.
The man recalled that while piloting his vessel along the river he noticed a boat coming in their direction “swaying from side to side”.
“Dis boat went like 20 rods away from we. Every time we tek de outside, de boat coming in we path. When we tek de inside he come on de inside.” Sanasie added that he then decided to pull into the corner to avoid a collision but that still didn’t save the men. “We go into de bush corner and waiting fuh de boat pass but the next thing we see is dis boat coming straight towards we. This boat come straight to the middle part ah de boat.”
Another survivor, Mukeem Hussain, who spoke with this newspaper, said that when he saw the boat he grabbed onto one of his colleagues and lay flat in the boat. The men recounted that after the collision the other vessel merely drove away.
“We just see ‘Patello’ fall in de water and we ain’t see he back. We see ‘ole bai’ “(Dookram Herronimo) with he face buss up,”
“After this boat knock we, we end up till in de bush.”
The men said that they immediately contacted their employer and told him what had transpired and the man promised to send a vessel for them. Sanasie said that when the boat arrived they were still searching for their missing colleague but their efforts were futile.
The injured Herronimo was rushed to the West Demerara Regional Hospital but was subsequently transferred to the Georgetown Public Hospital. Up to press time yesterday Herronimo’s condition was still listed as critical.
Meanwhile, the dead man’s wife, Annie Dhanraj, told this newspaper that she last saw her husband alive some two weeks ago. “Every fortnight he does come home. He call yesterday afternoon and tell me he want come out but they still had li’l wuk fuh do”.
‘I tell he ‘Boy, stay in fuh de couple day more because is extra money’ but he say he coming out,” the young mother of one recalled.
She added that later the evening a relative telephoned her and informed her that her husband was involved in an accident.
“De boss man wife just tell me something happen to meh husband. I ask she wha happen and she tell meh just come by she.” Dhanraj said that when she arrived by the husband’s employers she was greeted with the news.
In addition, the dead man’s employee said that he was more than eager to go home than anybody else on the boat.
“He nearly miss de boat. He come in de boat with he shoe in he hand. All he keep saying is that he going home.”
This newspaper has been told that the person who was piloting the other boat has since been arrested and is assisting with investigations.
According to reports, at the time of the incident the man was under the influence of alcohol. “We see when dis man left Parika. He de drunk, drunk. Some time back he nearly run into another boat. This is not de first time.”
A source told this newspaper that shortly after the incident a relative of the dead man contacted the captain of the boat, and he admitted to being involved in the accident.
“De man call he and ask he wha happen. And like he drunk. He just seh that he graze a boat but nothing serious ain’t happen.”
This newspaper was told that the boat captain reported the incident to a Community policing group member at Karia Karia, the area in which he lives.
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