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…Covid-related deaths not ruled out
Origin of the vessel and nationality of dead remains at sea unknown – MARAD
The Maritime Administration Department (MARAD), while confirming reports that a boat with dead human remains was discovered at sea, said the origin of the vessel and nationality of the now dead people are unknown at the moment.
“At present, the origin of the vessel and the nationality of the persons aboard are unknown,” MARAD said in a statement late Tuesday night. Sources told the Village Voice News that authorities here have not ruled out that the bodies might be of persons who died of C ovid-19 and as such MARAD said that all necessary precaution would be adhered to.
It said at approximately 14:04hrs on Tuesday, February 16, 2021, the department received information that a small open boat, with supposedly lifeless bodies on board was drifting at sea, approximately 112 nautical miles from Georgetown.
The relevant stakeholders were informed; and in a collaborative effort, sought to find mechanisms to get the vessel into Port Georgetown, MARAD said.
“The Maritime Emergency Rescue Coordination Centre was operationalized, and our international partners were contacted to collaborate on the response and for information sharing. Stakeholders in the private sector, both offshore and onshore, are coordinating with MARAD for the provision of assets to secure and safely tow the vessel into Port Georgetown,” it explained.
According to MARAD, it is a highly sensitive and delicate operation and all necessary precaution are being adhere to. On Tuesday evening, a senior Guyana Defence Force (GDF) officer told Village Voice News that a team was dispatched to investigate the reports. According to the GDF officer, an interagency team is actively investigating the matter and the vessel is being towed to shore. Village Voice News was told that the vessel was spotted by men on a tug.