Neither the captain nor the bowman of the ‘David G’ boat that was involved in an accident two weeks ago was licensed, sources say.
Several schoolchildren were injured in the accident involving the ‘David G’ boat in the vicinity of River’s View, Cuyuni- Mazaruni (Region Seven) on March 14, 2018. A total of four persons were injured, a release from the Ministry of the Presidency said.
When contacted, Director of Maritime Administration Department (MARAD) Claudette Rogers told Stabroek News that she would be in a better position to comment on the claim upon the completion of the investigation, which she said is on-going.
Minister of State, Joseph Harmon, two Mondays ago, swore in Colonel (Retired) Windee Algernon as Chairman of the Board of Inquiry (BOI), which has been set up to probe the circumstances surrounding the accident, involving the boat that was provided under a presidential programme to get children to school.
Harmon, in his remarks, noted that President David Granger has mandated that an inquiry be done into the matter. “It is required that you will look into the systems that were in place and whether in fact there had been any breaches of those systems. [You would also] have to look at whether there is a need for Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for the ‘David G’ vessels.
I trust that you will utilise your best skills and ability to arrive at the conclusion and to make recommendations on how to prevent a reoccurrence and what needs to be done to ensure that we have a safe system of transportation,” he said.
A number of these vessels have been handed out by the President and are under the control of the various regions. It is unclear whether a mechanism has been established by the Ministry of the Presidency to monitor them and address issues like crews of the vessels and maintenance.