Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 2nd 2015 Contents A14
One of the survivors of the fatal boat crash
over the weekend, which claimed the life of
Vinod Madho, said distress calls were made
to the T&T Coast Guard but no help was forth-
Still reeling from the agony of losing his rel-
ative, Suruj Katwaroo, 50, blamed the swells
and current that night for the boat capsizing
in the water while being towed to land by anoth-
In an interview at his home at Lalbeharry
Trace, Debe, Katwaroo said when the boat
stalled two miles offshore, they contacted the
Coast Guard for assistance but were told by an
officer the area was too shallow for the Coast
Guard rescue vessel to respond.
"An officer said we were too much in the
shallow because we were in about 20 feet
of water and they only had a big vessel
available which couldn t come in shal-
low water. They said they will
arrange a small vessel to help us,"
Recalling the tragedy which
changed his life, Katwaroo said he,
Madho and boat captain, Vasu
Sookdeo, left home around 6 am
to fish in the Gulf of Paria.
He said the trip was successful
as they caught more than 60 pounds
of fish. Around 4 pm, Katwaroo said,
the boat engine stalled.
"We tried to fix it by pulling out the plugs
but we couldn t get it started," Katwaroo said.
Using a cellphone, Katwaroo said he called a
relative who advised him to call the Coast Guard
He said all three of them took out their jerseys
and tried to flag down passing vessels.
"Nobody stopped. They probably thought
we were waving at them," Katwaroo said. Even-
tually, a relative called to say help was on the
way. Katwaroo said they anchored the boat and
decided to wait. "We had enough food and
water so we were not worried," he said.
After several hours, a pirogue came to tow
them in. Katwaroo said as they entered the
Godineau River channel the swells and currents
"The boat started to drift and some water
started to come in because of the currents. As
it entered the construction zone, Katwaroo said
the boat dipped towards a pillar and the strong
current caused it to flip.
"I jumped off the boat and I started to call
for Vasu and Vinni. I couldn t see them. Vinni
(Madho) was wearing a red life jacket and I
started to search for him," Katwaroo said. He
said Sookdeo was brought to the river bank but
there was no sign of Madho.
Twelve minutes later, Katwaroo said he went
under the boat and felt Madho s body. "We did
CPR and the ambulance came but he died,"
Katwaroo said with tears in his eyes. He said
the area where the accident occurred was well
lit.An autopsy conducted on Madho s body on
Monday at the San Fernando mortuary revealed
that he died from subdural hematoma (extensive
head injury which caused bleeding in his brain).
Madho s father, Jainarine, said the funeral
would take place at 9 am on today.
A mother broke down in tears yesterday after failing
to find a home for her daughter who reappeared at the
San Fernando Magistrates Court, charged with stab-
bing her ten-year-old sister.
As Rena Cross entered the San Fernando First
Court, words were hard to come by as she could
only look at her daughter, Dion, who has been
in prison since March.
Despite Dion s charge of wounding with intent
to cause grievous bodily harm against her
youngest daughter Cherisse, Cross told Senior
Magistrate Lucina Cardenas-Ragoonanan the defen-
dant was always there for her family.
She said Dion took care of her younger sister while
she was away and there were a lot of responsibilities
that may have caused her stress.
According to Dion s attorney, Ainsley Lucky, the stab-
bing took place while the sisters were having an argument
over a television show at their home at Solomon Street,
Vistabella, on March 26.
Lucky said Dion went "ballistic" but there was nothing
festering between the sisters before the incident.
Although Dion, 22, was granted bail of $90,000 on July
8 by deputy Chief Magistrate Mark Wellington, she has
been in remand at the Women s Prison, Arouca, as a con-
dition to her bail was that she had to stay away from
Cherisse has since recovered and returned to her family s
home after a lengthy stay at the San Fernando General
At a previous hearing, an agreement was reached for
Dion to stay at her uncle s home in Siparia but Cross told
the court yesterday her brother was working offshore. She
said she was trying desperately to see whether Dion s aunt
in Rio Claro would accommodate her in order for her to
Empathising with the family s plight, Cardenas-Ragoo-
nanan advised Dion to spend the next week at the St
Ann s Hospital so a psychiatric evaluation could be done
and a report submitted to the court.
Cardenas-Ragoonanan said Dion s consent to the eval-
uation was in her best interest and would also give her
mother time to find her a new home for her, instead of
returning to prison.
After much reluctance and counsel from Lucky, she
agreed and the matter was adjourned to December 9.
The owner of a reputed brothel in Port-of-Spain has
been questioned and released after 61 women were arrest-
ed at his Dundonald Street business place last Satur-
According to police reports the women, who claimed
they were from Guyana, Jamaica, Dominica Republic and
Venezuela, were held by a joint operation between officers
of the Counter Trafficking Unit (CTU), Immigration Division
and North Eastern Division Task Force between midnight
and 5 am Saturday.
The women were arrested on suspicion that they either
entered the country illegally or that they overstayed their
When contacted yesterday, officials at the CTU said
they have not completed their investigations in the matter
and the women were still in custody.
Investigations are continuing.
Sister accused of stabbing sister...
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Wednesday, December 2, 2015
Hopes for release
Raid on nightclub...
still in custody
Survivor of fatal boat crash:
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