Survivor says large wave capsized fuel boat

-search still on for missing crewmembers

Rescue operations continue for two men still missing from the fuel boat ‘Swift Dolphin,’ which capsized in the Corentyne River a week ago and one of the survivors says it was a large wave that toppled the vessel.

Leon Augustus Persaud, of the East Bank of Demerara and Anthony Sookdeo are the only members of the four-man crew who have been found. Still missing are the captain, whose name has been given as Ricky Ram and one other unnamed individual.

The vessel was sailing from Suriname with engine oil to Georgetown, according to Persaud.

Persaud, who gave a synopsis of what transpired, said the boat encountered a severe storm with large waves crashing into it at approximately 1:45 am.

He related that the boat eventually capsized after a large wave slammed into it. He said that he was at the steering wheel at the time along with the captain, while the unnamed person was sleeping. He added that after the boat turned over, he scrambled to hold on while the storm continued. He added that he could not see where anyone else was or make any effort to save his fellow crewmembers because he was struggling to save his own life.

He said that after the storm dissipated, he held on to the boat for several hours until a passing boat rescued him and Sookdeo. At this time, he added, he was able to radio the authorities and make contact with the owner of the boat, whose name he did not want to give.

Persaud said that the coast guard did not come to their rescue, as reported by the media; rather, the boat owner hired another boat that came for them and took them for medical treatment. After this, he said that he could not provide any further details because he wanted to rest and recuperate from his injuries. He did, however, mention that the trip was his first time on the vessel and that was the reason why he did not know the names of the other members of the crew.

According to the Maritime Administration (MARAD), investigators have concluded preliminary interviews with the two survivors. It had said that Coast Guards last Tuesday responded to a distress call at approximately 9pm after the Guyana-registered Motor Tanker Swift Dolphin capsized off the Coast in the vicinity of the mouth of the Corentyne River. The Motor Tanker Swift Dolphin is owned by Swift N.V. of Paramaribo, Suriname and usually operates between Suriname and Venezuela.

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