Captain charged with manslaughter over Pomeroon boat collision

The police say that boat captain Hytilall Ramandahin, 58 years, of Dredge Creek, Upper Pomeroon River, appeared before Magistrate Sunil Scarce at the Charity Magistrate Court today on a charge of manslaughter following the December 18 boat collision in which six persons died.

He has been placed on $600,000 bail and is to return to court on February 18, 2013.

The charge results from investigations into the boat collision at Siriki, Upper Pomeroon River, on December 18, 2012, in which 6 persons lost their lives.

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 of 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. The region’s boat had around 16 people including the Chairman of the region and employees of the One Laptop per Family Programme.

The Maritime Administration Department had said in a statement on December 29:

“Firstly, a preliminary investigation was conducted immediately into this most unfortunate accident and the facts are that on the day of the accident, both vessels were travelling close to the left bank of the river on a (similar) course when they collided.

“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).

“Secondly, our investigation revealed that at the time of the collision it was raining but that did not obscure the Captains’ visibility.

“There were a number of breaches which were found to be in violation of the Collision Regulations such as:

·         Rule 5 – Failing to maintain a proper look out at all times.

·         Rule 6 – Proceeding at a safe speed so as to take proper and

effective action to avoid collision.

·         Rule 14 – Failing to alter the vessel’s course to starboard

·         Failing to render assistance to operator and passengers.

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