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|Boat Captain badly burnt in $7M boat fire|
|Thursday, 19 July 2012 21:47|
RUDOLPH Cameron also known as ‘Bobby’, 43, of Lot 26 One and Half Miles, Potaro Road, Bartica, is recovering at Bartica Hospital after being injured in a boat explosion on Wednesday.
He and another unnamed man were aboard a 25 feet vessel, owned by Toney Spencer, when it burst into flames between Third and Fourth Avenues, Golden Beach, Essequibo River.
The Guyana Chronicle was informed that they had just finished loading fuel on to the craft when it exploded.
Chairman of Region Seven (Cuyuni/Mazaruni), Mr. Gordon Bradford said he was told that, after the refueling, an attempt was made to start the engine when it burst into flames and forced both men to jump overboard.
Cameron suffered the worse injuries while the other man escaped with minor burns about the body and was treated at the same hospital and sent away.
Bradford said, when he visited the hospital, the patient was unable to speak because of severe pains. However, he expressed confidence that the staff at the institution would do their best to ensure the survival of the captain.
The incident is said to have occurred sometime around 06.50hrs Wednesday morning and the vessel, named ‘Goodwill’ was completely destroyed by the blaze.
Speaking via telephone from his hospital bed Wednesday evening, Cameron said they had just finished loading fuel and were moving out of that area so that other boats could have their turn.
He said he was a short distance from the others and the gas station when he attempted to start the motor and heard a funny sound which was immediately followed by flames.
He said that he, quickly, took evasive action, jumped overboard and dived towards another boat. Other boat operators tried, desperately, to pull the blazing boat away from the others and the gas station.
Cameron said, although he plunged into the water, both of his feet were ablaze on fire. The man said it was his intention to head back to the Cool Breeze area where boats would, usually load, to take on goods for Aranka.
He explained that a fire tender from Bartica responded to the blaze but there was very little that could have been done since the boat was too far out and could not be easily reached by the water from the pressure hose.
Asked about his condition, Cameron said he was advised that he needed to remain in the hospital although he would have liked to be at home and have his wife tend to him. The doctors have advised that they are not too happy with the condition of his feet and, as such, he needed to remain in the facility so that he can be monitored. He said both of his feet are covered with bladders left from burns and are giving him a burning sensation. He said he was also burnt on the left arm, though not as severely.
Meantime, boat owner Spencer and his family have since visited him and are very supportive at this time.
Asked to estimate the damage following the catastrophe, Cameron said that the losses can be as much as $7M.
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