Cover Photo: Joseph Allen
— Boat captain is father of two of the victims, ages 3 and 11-month-old
GPF | Police are investigating an alleged drowning incident which occurred at about 03:00hrs on 2023-08-12 in the vicinity of Piri Piri, Essequibo River, which resulted in the death of three children, namely: Linda Joseph, a 12-year-old student of Aishalton Secondary School and who resided at Karaudar Village, South Rupununi; Norsha Ayaw, a 3-year-old and Newton Ayaw, an 11-month-old, both of whom resided at Masakenari Village.
Information received from Donny Charlie, the 42-year-old District Development Officer for Masakenari Village, the three victims were among seven other passengers in a 35 feet wooden boat propelled by a 30 HP outboard engine. On board the boat were 72 sacks of cement and three gasoline drums. It was heading from Parabara Village to Masakenari Village.
The 27-year-old boat Captain, Joseph Ayaw, claimed that he collided with a rock during the destination, and the boat capsized, flinging all the passengers and contents into the river. Ayaw, along with six other passengers, managed to swim to shore while the three children drowned in the process.
The Captain is the father of two of the victims (Norsha and Newton Ayaw), while Linda Joseph’s parents were also on the boat at the time.
The bodies of the children were later recovered floating in the area. Their faces were partially eaten by Piranhas. The bodies were then buried at Masakenari Village, to be exhumed at a later date.
Source: Action News Guyana (Reprinted with Permission)