Boat captain for charges soon over fatal Pomeroon crash

Charges may be brought as early as tomorrow against the surviving boat captain involved in the fatal Pomeroon boat crash, which claimed six lives, following a recommendation by the Maritime Administration Department (MARAD).

MARAD on Saturday said the accident was caused by one or both of the captains failing to observe international regulations and it disclosed that it advised the ‘G’ Division police to proceed with charges. A source told Stabroek News that the police have since filed charges and boat captain may make his appearance as early as tomorrow at the Charity Magistrate’s Court.

Boat captain Harrinarine Bhagwandin and his nephew Vincent Singh, 40, both of Abrams Creek; Velda Rodrigues, 50, and her son Shawn Rodrigues, 14, also of Abrams Creek; and Rajkumar, 14, and his sister, Amerita Singh, 10, of Charity Housing Scheme, Essequibo Coast, died after the boat they were travelling in collided with another boat, owned by the regional administration, in the Pomeroon River. There was only one survivor from Bhagwandin’s boat and it has been suggested that some of the victims could have been saved if the passengers in the region’s boat had stopped and rendered assistance after the collision.

MARAD had reported that both vessels were travelling close to the left bank of the river on a (similar) course when they collided and that the collision was caused by one or both captains of the vessels having failed to observe the international regulation for preventing collision at sea and the Guyana shipping act of 1998 Sect 225 (1).

It said its investigation revealed that at the time of the collision, it was raining but that did not obscure the captains’ visibility. Instead, it explained that there were a number of breaches which were found to be in violation of the Collision Regulations, including “Failing to maintain a proper look out at all times”, “Proceeding at a safe speed so as to take proper and effective action to avoid collision”, “Failing to alter the vessel’s course to starboard” and “Failing to render assistance to operator and passengers.”

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