Fishermen counting losses after accident at Meadow Bank Wharf

Some of the damage the boats sustained (Photo: News Room/July 12, 2023)

Reports are that a ship, which was being transported by a tug, was traversing the Demerara River, and while in the vicinity of the wharf, it allegedly increased the pace at which it was travelling, causing the waves to wreck the fishing vessels.

As a result of the impact, the boats sustained damage to their bows, stern and starboard.

“I was out hay mending seine when the ship coming…trying to turn. The tug pushing the boat trying to turn….So when he near reach hay, I tell me partner we gah jump off ah hay (boat) because this ship go run into this boat,” fisherman, Andy Wilkson told the News Room on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, boat captain, David Gomes said, “I left me boat good, good tie up. When I reach out hay suh, a man run and tell me that me boat buss away. When I reach, me boat deh till out suh. I had to find to get me boat back. Me boat is a brand new boat. It never touch sea top yet.”

Andy Wilkinson

According to the fishermen, with the damage, they now have to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to repair their boats. The incident, they said, has also affected their daily operation.

“Some ah these boats coulda sink. Them man gah pull off their seine. Throw away they ice, pay people fah do back them boat bottom and all kinda thing so is a lot of work…Different boat is different price,” John Emptage, who repairs boat, explained.

Meanwhile, an employee of Gomes also sustained injuries to his foot after trying to jump to safety following the incident.

John Emptage

“Since yesterday (Tuesday) the man seh he foot hurting cause he jump. They had to run,” he said.

“It throw me off a lot cause I was to go away (to sea) since yesterday (Tuesday). I couldn’t go yesterday. I can’t go today. So I don’t know…remember when you go out deh we don’t have a doctor out deh so you got to measure he okay fuss,” Gomes added.

The authorities are said to be investigating the incident and have since engaged some of the fishermen.