Authorities investigating Sunday’s incident in which a Government ferry ran aground
Wakenaam Island, Esssequibo River, have handed the matter over to the police.
According to Transport Minister, Robeson Benn, the police will determine what exactly played out shortly after midnight Sunday that allowed the MV SABANTO to run onto the island, one of several located on the Essequibo River.
Four staffers, including the captain, helmsman, and two lookouts, have been removed from duty, pending the investigations.
Authorities managed to capitalize on the high tides Thursday and the ferry was back in the water.
There was no immediate damage but authorities were mystified over how the incident occurred.
The MV SABANTO and MV KANAWAN are two Chinese-built vessels gifted to the Government of Guyana back in January 2012.
The vessels come equipped with some latest gadgets and “electronic eyes” that allow the vessel to “see” obstacles in the waters and even navigate in bad weather.
There were initial reports that the boat suffered mechanical issues with its steering.
However, officials from the Transport and Harbours Department on Thursday could not find any problems. As a matter of fact, the vessel made its way to Supenaam, Essequibo, shortly after it managed to reverse into the waters.
On Thursday, T&HD announced that the MV SABANTO was back in the water and it would resume its trips between Parika and Supenaam yesterday. The Department also disclosed that a new crew was manning the vessel.
There were reports that some members of the crew were drinking earlier on Sunday at Parika.
According to reports, the MV SABANTO left Parika Sunday evening after 23:00hrs. Somehow the vessel shifted direction and went up onto the island.
Almost half of the vessel was seen hanging in the water. The vessel had flattened the mangroves that lined the shores of the island.
The passengers were made to wait until daybreak when water taxis came to their rescue.
Several of the vehicles on board were removed except an ice cream truck which remained until Thursday when the ferry was taken to Supenaam.
The ice cream was still intact.
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