A fishing boat collided with the North-West passenger ferry, MV Barima, on Wednesday night and sank but no one was injured.
Transport Minister Robeson Benn confirmed the incident last night and indicated that an investigation has commenced. He said the authorities have questioned those involved and have taken statements.
It was not clear how the incident occurred but it was dark at the time. This newspaper was told that the Barima had left Georgetown on Wednesday afternoon for Port Kaituma and sometime on Wednesday night, collided with the fishing boat, ‘Regina’.
The crew members of the fishing boat were rescued and the Barima proceeded on its way.
Concerns have previously been raised about the vessels plying the North West route. Poor operational conditions were cited as the main issue affecting travel.
There was an engine failure on the MV Kimbia recently and prior to that complaints were raised about inordinate delays.
Subsequently, the Ministry of Public Works and Communication announced that with assistance from the Chinese Government, it was working to acquire two new vessels, one of which will replace the MV Kimbia.
Stabroek News has been reporting on the conditions experienced by passengers who utilize the services of the MV Kimbia; some persons called for the vessel to be replaced, stating that it has outlived its usefulness.
A regional official in the Mabaruma Sub-Region told this newspaper yesterday that there had been complaints by passengers from the North West about conditions they were forced to endure during voyages to and from the Capital City. He said the Public Works Ministry has been working to find a solution to improve the ferry service and according to the official, news of the acquisition of a new vessel will be greatly welcomed by North West residents.