Soldiers were seen drinking before crashing into boat; search continues for missing man

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Four Guyana Defence Force (GDF) Coast Guard Ranks were seen drinking before they left in an Army vessel and crashed into another boat on the Pomeroon River Monday night, sending all four passengers overboard. One man is still missing and is feared dead.

The News Room understands that according to standard operating procedures (SOPs) the ranks are only allowed on the river at night if there is an emergency or operation.

The four soldiers have been taken to the Charity Police Station and up to Tuesday afternoon were still giving statements.

The search is still on for missing Ryan Khayum; a relative told the News Room that other families have six boats out searching for him.

Missing: Ryan Khayum

Khayum and his wife Chandanie Khayum and two workmen were returning home after selling provisions and coconuts on the Essequibo Coast when the GDF vessel collided with them.

Chandanie received injuries to the head and arms while one of the workmen who were pinned under the boat was also injured.

The News Room had reported that Chandanie is in a stable condition at the Charity Hospital but due to COVID-19 measures, relatives cannot visit her.

The News Room understands that the GDF vessel was returning from Charity to the Floating Base with four ranks when the accident occurred.

Relatives alleged that the four GDF ranks were imbibing before leaving the wharf at Charity and that the GDF vessel had no headlights.

The soldiers usually go out to Charity, which has its big market day on Mondays, to buy supplies for the others on the Army’s floating base at the mouth of the Pomeroon River.

The base was set up in late 2012 to help the security forces in fighting rampant piracy in the region.

The GDF in a statement said a Board of Inquiry has been launched to investigate the accident.

 

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