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Seaman dies in Staubles Bay mishap

Thursday, February 8, 2018
Derek Nicholls

The T&T Coast Guard (TTCG) has launched an investigation into a freak accident that claimed the life of a sailor at Staubles Bay, Chaguaramas, yesterday.

Initial reports claimed that Leading Seaman Deryck Nichols, a member of the Physical Training Instructor Department of the T&T Defence Force, was on board a vessel with another colleague around 9 am when it capsized and both went under. It is believed Nichols hit his head when the vessel overturned.

Nichols’ colleague, also a seaman, was pulled out of the water after five minutes, but it took other officers about 20 minutes before they could retrieve Nichols from the choppy waters. They said Nichols was not breathing when he was pulled out the water. However, another theory asserts Nichols fell from a vessel and hit his head. He was pronounced dead on arrival at the Port-of-Spain General Hospital.

In a release yesterday, TTCG public relations officer Lt Sherron Manswell confirmed Nichols fell overboard from a vessel.

He said an investigation had been launched into the circumstances surrounding the incident.

Nichols’ fellow colleagues immediately sent out condolences to his family.

One of them wrote: “Good comrade…you were fly high Bro…keep us guarded while you up there.”

Another colleague, who described Nichols as a strong swimmer and one of the TTCG’s best, said he was saddened by his death.

An autopsy is expected to be conducted today at the Forensic Science Centre, St James, to determine the actual cause of death.

The TTCG was scheduled to have had its cooler wet fete last night at the Military Museum in Chaguaramas, but postponed it to a later date as a result of the death.


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