The tragedy that occurred on Wednesday, June 8, at Grand-River-South-East (GRSE) will remain etched on the minds of Mauritians. A boat overturned in the water, leading to the deaths of four individuals, including a child and a baby.
Fifteen people were onboard the boat, a group of police officers and their families. Only eleven of them survived.
When the boat capsized (at around 17h30), four of them – a 7-month-old baby, a 4-year-old child, and two police officers – got caught in the water, and drowned. Their bodies were taken to Flacq Hospital for autopsy.
The body of one of the victims (Chetalsing Mungur) was only recovered later after National Coast Guard teams were sent out to look for him; he had jumped into the water after having been able to get a grip on the boat because he had seen his baby taken by the waves. He died while trying to save his son, Navish. The other victims are Urmila Mewa (a police officer from Brisée-Verdière ), and toddler Vaibhav Shamloll.
The skipper of the boat has been arrested by the police on Wednesday itself, charged with involuntary homicide. He is said to have testified that some passengers had refused to wear life jackets. However, when interviewed by a DefiMedia.info team, the passengers denied this, claiming that the skipper was lying. They said that the boat capsized because of the bad weather. Yet others said in a statement to DefiMedia that there was no life jacket anyway.