A preliminary investigation conducted into the deadly North/West boat accident which claimed the lives of a father and son revealed that the two boat captains involved were unlicensed.
This is according to the Maritime Administration Department (MARAD) in a press statement today.
MARAD, the regulatory agency for the river laws, also said the wooden vessels (a 40HP and 75HP powered boats) were unequipped with navigational lights.
Notably, the Guyana Police Force (GPF) has reported that the 75HP vessel is owned by the Kumaka District Hospital.
MARAD reported that both the bodies were recovered but a close relative told the News Room that the father is still missing.
Forty-two year old George Piper and his 18 – year old son Ravin went missing following the boat collision around on July 15.
The body of the younger Piper was found and his funeral is set for tomorrow. The sister of the older Piper told News Room that her brother’s body is still missing.
News Room was informed that the young man went to Charity to do some shopping and on his way home to Father’s Beach; he stopped in Pomeroon to pick up his father.
The boat in which he was travelling was captained by Uklana France aka “Wood”, also of Father’s Beach.
The collision occurred at the Mouth of the Moruca River.
France and the occupants of the State-owned boat survived the crash.
Meanwhile, MARAD said it has collaborated with the Coast Guard to have joint enforcement, marine exercises in the riverain areas of Guyana. These activities commenced on July 17 in the Parika/Supenaam area.
The marine exercises will be ongoing, and involves joint patrols, comprising of MARAD Officers, Fisheries Officers, and the Coast Guard who will check the certification and registration of vessels and boat operators, and also ensuring that the operators comply with all river safety rules.
Areas to be targeted include Bartica, Mazaruni, Charity, Pomeroon, Moruca, Mabaruma, Morawhanna, Port Kaituma, and Berbice.
MARAD, being the regulatory agency for the river laws, has the responsibility for the Registration and Licensing of vessels and operators in Guyana, under the River Navigation Act Chapter 50:01, while the enforcement of these laws, lie within the constabulary powers and capabilities of the Guyana Police Force and the Coast Guard.
MARAD further reminded that passenger vessels are allowed by the Administration to operate after sunset whenever there is an emergency caseinvolving the transporting of sick persons to the nearest hospital; however some operators are non-compliant in this regard.
MARAD said it will continue in its effort to ensure that the river safety rules are maintained on the country’s waterways.