The Maritime Administration Department (MARAD) has recorded 12 deaths caused by marine
mishaps during the first half of the year.
According to MARAD, accidents and other incidents involving marine vessels during the first half of the year also resulted in 13 persons being injured while another eight were lost at sea.
The figures were as a result of two boat collisions, and nine incidents, two of which were attacks of pirates on fishermen and other marine workers. It was also noted that most of the marine incidents/ accidents took place in the Corentyne and Mazaruni Rivers.
The chart showed that the eight river mishaps, which took place between January and July, claimed the lives of nine persons. The victims were Ryan Browne, Hassan David, Ronald Ewart Newark, Seepersaud Roopchand, Andrew Gopie and Orlando Billy Graham.
Three river fatalities were recorded in August. The victims include five-year-old Venezuela resident Bhisham Munilall, and Jose Henrique Salvao De Souza also of Venezuela, and Nicola Mayers of Riverview, Essequibo.
According to MARAD, two fishing vessels were attacked during the first half of the year. Both attacks took place in the Corentyne River.
During the first attack which occurred on July 8, Andrew Gopie, 41, of Annandale, East Coast Demerara was killed and his colleagues Chandrapaul Jallim, Raymond Gomes and Vinesh Drunarine are still missing. Feroze Hack was the only survivor of that incident.
Just a few days later, another group of fishermen was attacked, tied up and robbed of their belongings at sea. Two persons survived that attack while three remain lost at sea. The survivors include Omesh Derhup and Naresh Persaud. The missing men are Ramesh Persaud, Deochand Ravindranauth and Prakash (only name given).
On August 12, a Guyana Registered Motor Tank capsized at the mouth of the Corentyne River. Four persons were aboard the vessel; only two, Leon Augustus Persaud and Anthony Sukhdeo, survived.
The vessel’s captain Gainan Rickiram and crew member Constantine Patrick are still lost at sea. MARAD notes that investigations are still continuing into the matter.
Last month, less than 24 hours after Guyana joined the rest of the world in the observance of International Maritime Day, female Brazilian, Gisele Vieria Salis was killed after two boats collided while travelling in the vicinity of All Boys in the Mazaruni River.
Last year, the department recorded 37 deaths, some resulting from boat collisions and from acts of piracy. Last year, too, research indicated that the Pomeroon and Mazaruni Rivers were the deadliest channels, at one time recording a combined total of 19 river fatalities in two weeks.
However, it was reported that Maritime officials had conducted additional work in regions to target safety defaulters and curb the incidence of river accidents.
MARAD Public Relations Officer, Akousa Mc Pherson, said that the campaign has since intensified to promote safety and reduce the incidence of river causalities.
She said that as part of its efforts, MARAD is continuing distribution of safety gear (lifejackets) but also embarked on additional activities to educate boat operators in various aspects of marine safety.
Within recent years, the campaign has targeted areas in Bartica, Supenaam and Charity, Georgetown, and Vreed-en-Hoop and Parika. Maritime officials have also moved to enforce adequate licensing and the proper use of life jackets for boat operators in the Mahaicony River.
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