[Audio] Drama In GRSE: A Survivor – “Nous n’avons pas danse sur le bateau”

“Sa aksidan-la inn pass extra vit. Pann konpran kinn arive. Monn tann kriye kan bato pe devire. Sak pe flote e tou mo bann kamarad dan delo,” said the constable Girishnathsingh Permessur, one of the survivors of the tragedy that occurred on June 8 in Grand River South East (GRSE).

The policeman has filed his statement in the court of Flacq on Monday morning August 29 as part of the judicial investigation opened by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP). The DPP aim to shed light on the circumstances surrounding the death of four people at the GRSE drama.

Constable Girishnathsingh Permessur explained that his colleagues and himself are used to organize trips. They arrived at Ile aux Cerfs arround 1 PM on the day of the tragedy, he added. “Skipper pann dir kot bizin asize, ki bizin fer. Nou osi nou pann poz kestion,” he said. He argued that no one found any lifejacket on board of the boat that transported them to Ile-aux-Cerfs, “Personne n’a trouvé les gilets de sauvetage lorsque nous sommes montés à bord. Le skipper n’a rien dit.”

He added: “Nou ti al amize pou casse stress travay. A okenn moman ti ena kikenn kinn diboute, kinn sante danse pou debalans bato.”

Other information to be learned from this hearing: Constable Chetalsing Mungur, one of the four victims had 168mg of alcohol in the blood the day of the tragedy. This is the conclusion of the toxicology report which was filed in court on Monday.

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On the other hand, Mahadeo Ramchurn of the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) filed as a witness. He said he examined the boat and there was no hole in the hull of the boat. He also explained that for a boat to overturn, there must be either a gust of wind or the weight in the boat is poorly distributed. The responsibility of a skipper is to ensure that it is balanced, he said.

Regarding the police women who were also on board the boat on the day of the tragedy, their lawyer Mr Viren Ramchurn requested a reference to their hearing because they are actually being followed by a psychologist. They will file their statement on 29 September.

The judicial inquiry is chaired by the magistrate Navina Parsuramen. The day of the tragedy, 16 people were on board a canoe that was reversed in circumstances still unexplained. Constable Chetalsing Mungur, 30, his son Navish, 7 months, police woman Urmila Mewa, 25, and Vaibhav Shamloll, 4, were all dead after the tragedy.

Following this tragedy, the skipper Louis Hayward Marie aged 56 was arrested and provisionally charged with manslaughter by the court of Flacq. He regained freedom after providing a bail of Rs 10,000 and signed an acknowledgment of debt of Rs 20,000.