Boat which sank with passengers may have hit pile

The speedboat, which sprang a leak in the Essequibo River with 17 passengers on board, may have struck a pile, investigators believe.

The Maritime Administration Department (MARAD) and investigators from the Wakenaam Police Station are currently investigating the incident.

The vessel’s captain Fidel Gibson and bowman Leo Paul were questioned by police and they were subsequently released.

A source told Stabroek News that the MARAD investigators are examining the theory that the boat may have struck a pile in the water off the coast of Supenaam, while on the way from Supenaam to Parika. However, the captain of the vessel has maintained that he did not feel any impact while operating the boat.

Stabroek News understands that the vessel has been recently constructed and as a result investigators have ruled out poor maintenance as a contributory factor to the incident.

Meanwhile, according to Curtis Adams, Chairman of the Parika-Supenaam Speedboat Association, “all steps are being taken to ensure all vessels which ply the route are intact.” He added that it was quite unfortunate that the passengers lost their personal belongings and had to undergo such a near death experience.

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