Feb 17, 2021 News
Kaieteur News – It appears so far that the mystery boat spotted on Monday afternoon drifting offshore Guyana with what appeared to be decomposing bodies, might have disappeared. The vessel was first seen around 14:04 hrs. by a supply vessel (a motor tug) contracted by US oil company ExxonMobil, which is operating in the area.
Crewmembers onboard the tug took photos and forwarded them to the relevant authority, the Maritime Administration Department (MARAD), along with key details of the boat’s location.
Kaieteur News had reported that efforts were being made to tow the vessel to Port Georgetown, where further investigations would have been carried out.
However, according to a joint press conference held last evening by Minister of Public Works, Juan Edghill, and the Minister of Home Affairs, Robeson Benn, at the Maritime Boat House, searches were conducted to locate the vessel, but it was not found.
Edghill said that the last sighting of the boat was reportedly around 19:53 hrs. on Monday. Based on what he was told by his technical team, it was drifting in a western direction at about 81 nautical miles off shore Guyana.
He explained that upon receiving information from the motor tug about their discovery, a request made for its crewmembers to attach a towline to the boat and bring towards a sea buoy located some ten miles away from Port Georgetown.
The crewmembers, told authorities that they needed permission from their principals, which they eventually obtained at around 15:00 hrs.
Their efforts to attach the towline, however, proved futile, after the weather at sea suddenly changed and became inclement. Edghill said that the crewmembers did all they could to drift along with vessel, but soon lost sight of it.
Early yesterday, continued the Public Works Minister, two Guyana Defence Force (GDF) boats were deployed from Morwhana, North West District (NWD), Region One, with Coast Guards and members of the Guyana Police Force (GPF) to scope the area. The search by sea was also backed-up by a five-hour long air patrol by GDF ranks as well. Those ranks also received support from ExxonMobil, which conducted air searches too.
A fishing vessel operating in the area was also contacted by the authorities and instructed to head to the direction where the boat was last spotted.
Unfortunately, said Edghill, despite all the efforts made yesterday, the vessel was not sighted.
Nevertheless, the Public Works Minister, assured that the search will continue. He detailed that Coast Guards departed Georgetown around 17:00 hrs. yesterday in a privately owned fishing trawler, heading to an area where his technical team believe the boat might have drifted and are expected to arrive there at sunlight.
That area Edghill said should be at 31 nautical miles just off the coast at Waini, Region One, if the boat continues to drift in the western at a steady speed. This location, he explained is based on plotting made by his technical team at MARAD.
Another flight by GDF ranks will also depart early today to continue the search by air. Meanwhile, during the conference, Director of Safety at MARAD, John Flores, said that there could be a possibility that because of the inclement weather, the boat could have sunk. Apart from that, he said, depending on the direction and strength of the wind at the time, the boat could also drift in another direction and at a faster speed.
Nonetheless, as the search continues, Edghill said that should the boat not be located by end of the today, then the international community will be engaged in order to determine the origin of the boat and the nationality of the decomposed bodies.
So far, he added, there is no information pointing in the direction that it might be a boat from Guyana, since there is no report of a missing boat or a missing crew.
Contact was made with neighbouring Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago to see if those countries might have missing a boat along with a crew but so far, they have been ruled out.
Edghill said that they are speculations based on the direction the boat was drifting from, that it could originate from as far as Africa. The photo evidence obtained so far indicates that it is a relatively small river vessel. No engine was seen attached to the stern but a noticeable towline was seen attached to the bow of the boat.
Apr 23, 2021BCB/Dr Puran Singh Educational Trust Fund 2021 Kaieteur News – Berbice Cricket Board (BCB) President Hilbert Foster on Wednesday last urged young players across the County to complete their...
Apr 23, 2021
Apr 23, 2021
Apr 23, 2021
Apr 22, 2021
Apr 22, 2021
Kaieteur News – From now, way into the future, the March 2020 rigged election will be remembered and discussed. Some... more
By Sir Ronald Sanders Kaieteur News – As undesirable as it may be, governments of Caribbean countries that are not... more
Freedom of speech is our core value at Kaieteur News. If the letter/e-mail you sent was not published, and you believe that its contents were not libellous, let us know, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]