POLICE are probing the death of 26-year-old Vanwest Charles, a businessman of Warapoka Village, North West District, Region One, who reportedly lost his life in a boat mishap on February 9, 2024.
According to the Guyana Police Force, Noel Malvin Evans, a 43-year-old boat captain of Charity Housing Scheme, Essequibo Coast, reported to the police that at around 06:30 hours on that day, he picked up passengers from Iyanna Backdam, Barama, North West District to transport them to Charity and Moruca, respectively.
They are: Alex Daniels, a 21-year-old labourer; Stephanie Thomas, a 26-year-old shopkeeper; Martin John, a 50-year-old farmer, and his son, Rondel John, a 13-year-old student; Milton James, a 71-year-old pensioner/pastor and, Wallis James, a 50-year-old farmer.
The boat captain told investigators that at about 17:05 hours, he was negotiating a turn at a moderate speed in the mid-section of the ’99 Turns’, North West District, when a smaller boat, about 16 feet in length, red and blue in colour, that was captained by the deceased, crashed into the bow area of his boat.
It was further stated that at the time of the mishap, Captain Evans was on the right-hand side where boats are required to be travelling, and as he took the turn, he saw Charles approaching in his boat alone at a fast rate.
Charles, on seeing the boat, served to the left and in the process, the back portion of his boat crashed into the bow area of Evans’ boat resulting in him and his engine falling into the river. Charles was subsequently picked up by Evans and his passengers and transported to Kumaka Water Front, Moruca, then by ambulance to the Kumaka District Hospital where he was pronounced him dead on arrival.
The body was photographed and processed and is currently at the Kumaka District Hospital’s Mortuary awaiting a post-mortem examination.
Statements were taken from all the passengers who corroborated Evan’s story. No foul play is suspected. Evans was placed into custody and is assisting with ongoing investigations.