A post-mortem examination yesterday confirmed that the Zeelugt fisherman who fell overboard in the Waini River last week drowned, but his widow believes there is more to his death, which occurred on his first trip back on open-water after a three-year break.
Ram Lakhan Dalcharran, 50, of Zeelugt, East Bank Essequibo, was in Kamwatta, North West District, where he reportedly fell into the Waini River in the early hours of last Tuesday morning. His body was recovered on Thursday morning at Shell Beach.
Speaking to Stabroek News yesterday, the man’s widow, Rosita Persaud, stated that the post-mortem examination revealed that he died from drowning. However, she added that despite being assured of how he died, she is still confused about the sequence of events that led to his death and does not believe the information provided to her about him accidentally falling overboard.
Persaud explained that her husband had left last week Sunday afternoon around 4 pm, with the expectation that he would have returned home in 14 days.
“He left and gone and that’s all I know. Next thing I hear is that he jump overboard and I said to myself I didn’t believe that,” Persaud said.
She explained that the Dalcharran had some 10 years of experience working as a fisherman at sea and while he had stopped for some three years, he could have been considered as a veteran. The trip was his first one back in the open-water after his three-year hiatus.
During the time away from sea work, Dalcharran took up carpentry and construction and would work around the region. However, he told his family and friends that he believed that he was getting too distracted and had been drinking more than he liked during his time on land. As a result, he made the decision to venture back to his favourite trade. “He always liked working on the sea and he used to miss it. He said he was out here drinking too much and being distracted and that’s why he wanted to go back but I still don’t understand what happened. He was a very good swimmer,” the still distraught Persaud said.
She pointed out that since her husband died, she has been hearing reports that do not “make any sense” to her. “The boat owner tell me that he was catching fits and they had to tie he down and all of that but that doesn’t make any sense. I’ve been living with him for 25 years and not once I ever see he catch fits,” she said.
In addition to the claim that Dalcharran was having seizures, she explained that it was also related to her that he was “acting mad” because of the alcohol he had consumed. However, she disputed those claims and explained that he would always consume alcohol while he was home and would never act as was described to her.
Along with the reports that have been related to her, Persaud explained that she is very unhappy that the body was not returned to the family, which has been devastated. The family of seven has been left without the main breadwinner and Persaud says she is unsure how they will survive.
“I don’t know what questions I could ask but if I could ask a thousand questions I would ask why they didn’t bring the body down all the time. From my knowledge, I know if they find a body two days after they would still bring the body wherever the family is, so I don’t understand,” she added.
She related that the owner of the boat had told her that it would take about $200,000 to $300,000 to bring her husband’s body from the North West District to Region Three, which she couldn’t afford. As a result, she said the family had to choose to leave the body at Mabaruma. Consequently, the man’s sister, Amrita Khellawan, had to travel to the North West District to identify the body and to be present for the post mortem examination.
The five other crew members that were on the boat at the time of the incident were subsequently arrested following a report of the drowning to the police. However, they have since been released but have been instructed to check in daily at the police station as the investigation into Dalcharran’s death continues.