Warapoka businessman Vanwest Charles lost his life on Friday after he reportedly lost control of the boat he was captaining and it crashed into another boat in the vicinity of the ’99 Turns’ at Warapoka Village, North West District (NWD), Region One (Barima-Waini).
Police have said that, at about 21:00h on Friday, they received reports that the 26-year-old Charles, who was captaining a wooden boat powered by a 40-HP Yamaha engine, had collided with another boat, resulting in him and his engine falling overboard. They said that Charles was rescued from the water, but died on his way to seek medical attention.
The other boat involved in the collision was a 22-foot speedboat powered by a 200-HP Yamaha engine. At the time, it was being captained by Noel Malvin Evans, a 43-year-old holder of a coxswain licence for the past two years.
In detailing the events that led to this accident, Police have said that on the day in question, at about 06:30h, Evans picked up four passengers from the Iyanna Backdam in Barama, NWD and took them to Charity and Moruca respectively.
At about 17:05h, as he was negotiating a turn in the mid-area of the ’99 Turns’ at NWD, he observed Charles approaching him from the opposite direction, and he was travelling at a fast rate. Upon seeing Evans, Charles reportedly swerved to avoid a collision, but instead, the back portion of his boat crashed into the bow area of Evans’s boat, and the impact of that crash threw an injured Charles overboard.
Guyana Times understands that Charles was on the wrong side of the river when he took the turn. He was pulled from the river, and several injuries were evident on his body. Transported to Kumaka Water Front in Moruca, he was taken by ambulance to the Kumaka District Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Meanwhile, statements were taken from all passengers, and Evans’s story was corroborated. As such, the Police have ruled out foul play. Evans has nevertheless been arrested, and is assisting with the investigations.