Lack of life-jackets on Corentyne backtrack boats

Dear Editor,

Several months ago two persons died on the Corentyne River while crossing with a backtrack boat to Suriname. Even before that, however, backtrack boats were required to provide life-jackets.

Well the life-jackets were worn for a while and now that the tragedy has been pushed to the back of the mind they are apparently no longer regarded as necessary. On Christmas Eve day I had reason to go to Suriname via backtrack, and when I enquired about a life-jacket the boat operator said that these were on the boat. In the boat there were three life-jackets of the poorest quality for seven persons.

On my way back on December 27, again I enquired about life-jackets, and the boat operator said “You got life-jacket in front.”  Neither I nor the other passengers saw or wore any.

What is sad here is the boat operators are more interested in the money they can make instead of the service they are paid to provide.

I do hope this letter gets the attention of the police in Berbice.

Yours faithfully,
WP George

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