2 teachers die following 2-boat collision in Moruca River

Dead: Helen Raybai

Two teachers have lost their lives following a collision between two boats in the Moruca River in Region One (Barima-Waini) early on Friday morning.
Adrian Thomas, 18, a former teacher of St. Beeds Primary School and of Kumaka Road in Santa Rosa, and Helen Raybai of Waikrebi Village in the Moruca Sub-Region are the two teachers.
Based on reports received, the accident took place at 06:30h, and one of the boats involved was Guyana Defence Force (GDF) Coast Guard radar craft RC 17, which was under the command of a sergeant, assisted by two other ranks, and was en route to Santa Rosa. The other boat, powered by a 75HP outboard engine and captained by Thomas, had four occupants, including Raybai, her child and Thomas, and was on its way to Charity.
The collision reportedly occurred as the GDF boat was negotiating a turn. Following the collision, Raybai and Thomas lost their lives while the baby and the other occupant of the boat were taken for medical attention at the Charity Regional Hospital.

Dead: Adrian Thomas

Police have said that the Coast Guard vessel was damaged, and is currently at the Base in the Pomeroon River. The GDF, in a statement after the tragic accident, said an investigation is underway, none of its ranks were injured, but it is extremely saddened at the passing of two occupants of the civilian boat.
The Chief of Defence Staff, Brigadier Omar Khan, together with officers and ranks of the Guyana Defence Force, has extended sincere condolences to the families and loved ones affected by this tragic incident.
When contacted, Dawn Torres, a cousin of Thomas, told Guyana Times during a telephone conversation that relatives had received initial information about the accident, and later in the morning received news that two persons had been killed.
She noted that her cousin and other passengers were heading to Charity, but she could not say why.
Thomas had attended the Santa Rosa Secondary School, and after writing CSEC, had applied for a teaching job at St. Beeds in the Barama area.
Torres described him as a very jovial and funny person who always lighted up a crowd. She recalled meeting him on Easter Monday during a family gathering, and said she was fortunate to have been taken on a ride in his boat.
The aggrieved cousin added that while relatives do not have much information on the circumstances surrounding the accident, the family has lost a gem. Thomas leaves to mourn his parents and one brother.