Search still ongoing for couple missing in Canje Creek mishap


The Guyana Defence Force Coast Guard, along with ranks from the Guyana Police Force and privately contracted divers, were up to late Saturday afternoon still searching for the bodies of the two persons who were inside a tugboat that capsized in the Canje Creek, Berbice on Friday night.

Shellon Williamson, 27, of Angoys Avenue, New Amsterdam and Richard John, 39, of Edinburgh Village, East Bank Berbice are feared dead.

Police Commander Boodnarine Persaud said that the boat capsized east of the Canje Creek, a short distance from the Canje Bridge; the duo was reportedly trapped under the tug.

Christina John, the sister of the missing John, told reporters that at around 20:45 hrs, her son informed her that his “uncle and he girl dead in the boat.”

Alarmed by the news, she immediately headed out and had two speed boats search the area but up until Saturday morning, their bodies could not be located.

“Till around 01:00 hrs, I left and went home and this morning, I came back around 5:30am and when I reached here, I didn’t see the speedboat or anybody. They bring up the boat and dem ain’t find nothing”, the distraught sister said.

The tug boat

Meanwhile, Dennis John, a brother of the missing man and the captain of the vessel, disclosed that he was cooking in the vessel at approximately 20:00 hrs and Williamson had ventured under the bow of the boat.

He said within a matter of minutes, Williamson shouted that there was water coming in the vessel and that “it got a big hole.”

The boat captain said that when he went to where Williamson was, the water in the vessel was “knee-height” and his brother began to “bail out the water but the whole tug leaned to one side and turned over.”

As panic consumed him, he said he began climbing up and his brother was behind him.

When he got out from under the tug, he did not see his brother.

The man said he returned in hopes of saving his brother and his partner but the door to the boat was jammed. He said he swam back up and went out for help.

One of the divers who assisted with the search, Leon Faria, told the News Room that during the search it was confirmed that no one was in the vessel or under; the boat has since been pulled out of the water.

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