Boat Captain drowns after colliding with wharf

Dead: James Bender of Sand Hills, Berbice River

A boat captain is now dead after the boat he was operating collided with a wharf in the Berbice River.
Dead is 49-year-old James Bender of Sand Hills, Berbice River.
The accident occurred at about 01:00h on Saturday morning at Kimbia, Berbice River, Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice), however, Bender’s body was found at about 02:00h on Monday.
At the time of the accident, there was another man in the boat, who went to Deputy Toshao of Kimbia, Rawle Walker and reported the mishap.
However, a resident of Kimbia, Debra Jones, discovered the body floating in the wee hours of the morning.
“We saw the body floating, from the tummy was out of the water and it is just swollen. I took it in the corner and I tied the body,” Jones said, adding “when somebody drowned you have to keep looking for them before they raise, float and gone…”

Undertakers removing James Bender’s body from the boat

Meanwhile, the Deputy Toshao, Walker, noted that a villager was in the vicinity of Kimbia when he requested to operate the boat since Bender was under the influence of alcohol. The villager related that Bender refused, saying that he did not allow anyone to operate his boat.
“He told me they end up driving and they crashed into a wharf and Bender fell out of the boat. That is the report he brought to me that James fall out of the boat and he went to drive the boat and when he turned it around to check for Bender, he was nowhere around. The rain was falling and the place was dark when he came to me at around 1 o’clock (01:00h),” the Deputy Toshao related.
He added that he immediately made arrangements for a message to be sent to relatives of the missing man.
“We tried to use the internet to get on to his relatives at Sand Hills but the internet was not working because of the rain, so I told him to take the boat and go to Sand Hills and tell them.”
After the body was found it was taken to New Amsterdam. However, relatives have since requested that the body be removed from the funeral parlour where the Police took it as a result of a previous unpleasant experience.
The man’s sister-in-law, Simone DeCouna, said that in April 2020, her brother, Julian McKenzie, who was among four persons who lost their lives in a boat mishap, was taken to the very parlour but by the time he was ready to be buried, his body was decomposing.
“They spoil a body before, not again I am pleading with them and they are still carrying the body there,” the grieving woman said.
An investigation has been launched into the drowning. (G4)