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A man from south Trinidad, who fell overboard during a boat cruise and had to be rescued by the T&T Coast Guard, is now threatening to sue the boat’s operator for negligence.
In pre-action protocol letter sent to Asha Francis of Top Cat Cruises yesterday, which was obtained by the T&T Guardian, lawyers representing Sona Bissoon are alleging the company breached its duty of care to him by failing to ensure his safety.
According to the letter, the incident occurred when Bissoon and his friends were attending “Waist’d 2017 Boat Cruise” on October 13, 2017.
Bissoon was leaning on a railing at the rear port side of the vessel as it was returning to the Blackjack Marina in Chaguaramas when railing gave way, causing him to plunge overboard.
Bissoon, of Hylife Trace, South Oropouche, attempted to scream for help but his appeals went unnoticed by party-goers and the boat’s crew, who were unable to hear him due to the loud music.
The incident occurred two miles away from the Carrera Island Prison, in a body of water in which several prisoners have drowned when trying to escape in the past.
“Our client was left behind to fend for himself while the vessel callously simply continued along its merry way without care or concern for our client’s life,” Bissoon’s lawyer Robert Abdool-Mitchell said in the letter.
He claimed Bissoon attempted to swim back to shore and was rescued by Coast Guard officers after spending a little over half an hour in the choppy water.
Staying the company was negligent in failing to ensure proper safety procedures and for its staff’s failure to render assistance to Bissoon, Abdool-Mitchell said: “It is in these circumstances that you breached your duty to our client to keep him reasonably safe during the cruise, as is your duty as a public service provider of pleasure cruises.”
Abdool-Mitchell also criticised the company for failing to apologise or enquire about Bissoon’s well being after he suffered through the traumatic experience.
“He has been forgotten. Our client remains fearful of boarding any sort of vessel and avoids open water at all costs,” Abdool-Mitchell said.
Bissoon is seeking compensation as well as the legal costs he has incurred thus far.
The company has been given 28 days decide whether it would accept liability for the incident or challenge Bissoon’s claim.
Bissoon is also being represented by Anand Ramlogan, SC.
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