Boat drifts while boatmen argue

Dear Editor,

Approximately at 3.20 pm on Saturday, September 3, 2009, I boarded a boat at the Georgetown stelling along with other passengers to cross over to Vreed-en-Hoop on the West Coast, when the boat stalled because of a lack of gasoline in both the operating and stand-by engines.

A verbal altercation then began between the captain and bowman over who was responsible for this, and in the midst of their confusion about duties and responsibilities, the passengers also gave their points of view. One passenger commented, “Suppose we were up in the air?’ and another suggested that they get out of the boat and battle it out. All of this time the boat was drifting, and what made it more frightening was that these vessels are not equipped with two-way CB radios for emergency communication to a base or dispatcher; a cell phone had to be used in this situation to call for back-up assistance.

Editor, I think this is a good story to write about, so that stricter rules and regulations can be implemented to prevent things of this sort from happening again. I hope that this catches the eyes of the authorities in charge of river boat crossings, so that they can make the necessary changes.

Yours faithfully,
HF Barnwell

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