Relatives baffled by death of sailor on St Lucia-bound vessel

Relatives of  the 53-year-old seaman Lilkumar (only name), who died on a ship en route to St. Lucia nearly two weeks ago say they are suspicious about the circumstances surrounding his death and do not believe that he died of natural causes.

The Lady Zai, a Saint Vincent & the Grenadines-registered ship which is managed by a Guyanese company—KB Enterprise —departed Guyana two weeks ago with a ten-man crew destined for the Vieux Fort Seaport with animal grains.

Lilkumar, of Windsor Forest, West Coast Deme-rara, was on the ship and when it arrived at a St. Lucia dock he was dead and the ship’s chef, Latchman Seeram, was suffering from a respiratory illness.


At a news conference on March 11, St. Lucian Senior Medical Officer Dr. Sharon Belmar-George had said an emergency post-mortem, was performed on his remains and the cause of death was listed as broncho-pneumonia.

However, Lilkumar’s brother Brandon (the only name given) said he was suspicious of foul play because his brother left Guyana healthy. “When the people from the office bring the news I was shocked. I couldn’t believe it because he left here well,” he said.

“He is a strong guy…and it was just a few days…he left the Thursday night and the Saturday we heard that he was dead because he got sick.”

Lilkumar’s body is expected to arrive in Guyana on Friday while Seeram, who was hospitalized, was treated and released.

Meanwhile, officials at KB Enterprise refused to comment on the issue, only saying that MARAD is dealing with it.

According to statement from the Maritime Admi-nistration Department (MARAD) the quarantine on the Lady Zai and its crew has been “conditionally lifted”. Officials from St. Lucia said that the entire ship should undergo sanitization before its cargo is offloaded and also prior to its departure from the island.

MARAD had said that the crew members were ordered to remain onboard where their conditions could be monitored as a usual precautionary measure to protect the local population from contracting any possible communicable disease.

Prior to the vessel arriving in St. Lucia, the island’s port health officials were informed of the situation and when it arrived in St. Lucia, Lilkumar was already dead and Seeram was ill.

The cargo aboard the Lady Zai is the property of Caribbean Grains—a Vieux Fort Freezone feed mill whix, an operation which produces feed for all types of farm animals for the local market.  (Jeanna Pearson)

More in Local News

Jaikarran Chandradeo

Two more held as cops look for motive in Corentyne triple murder

Police yesterday detained two more persons as they continued to try to unravel the motive behind the gruesome shooting to death of two men and a teenage boy, whose bodies were discovered at Kokerite Savannah, Mibicuri Creek, on Friday.

These children enjoyed being pushed home by a cousin


Riverstown, a village on the Essequibo Coast, is pressed between Pomona and Airy Hall. Once you cross the railway-like bridge over a black water creek, you’re in Riverstown, where there are more than 700 residents.

Raphael Trotman

SARU operating legally despite absence of legislation

Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman said on Thursday that the State Assets Recovery Unit (SARU) is operating legally and despite its inability to prosecute persons, it is currently doing investigative work which is part of its mandate.

Dead: Orin Morris

Sophia stevedore killed in freak accident at wharf

The body of a stevedore attached to the John Fernandes Limited, Water Street wharf was retrieved from the Demerara River on Thursday evening, more than a day after he was involved in a freak accident.

The old abandoned Moco-Moco Hydropower Station

2018 deadline set for completion of Moco-Moco hydropower facility

Due diligence is currently being done on two firms that had bid to rehabilitate the Moco-Moco hydropower facility and the project should be completed by the end of 2018, Minister of Public Infrastructure David Patterson says.

Devika Tinsarran after she lost all her hair due to chemotherapy treatment for breast cancer.

Breast cancer survivor turned advocate urges women to get screened early

For many who receive a breast cancer diagnosis, hearing from others who have survived it can be a great source of comfort and support.


About these comments

The comments section is intended to provide a forum for reasoned and reasonable debate on the newspaper's content and is an extension of the newspaper and what it has become well known for over its history: accuracy, balance and fairness. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments which contain attacks on other users, slander, coarse language and profanity, and gratuitous and incendiary references to race and ethnicity.

Stay updated! Follow Stabroek News on Facebook or Twitter.

Get the day's headlines from SN in your inbox every morning: