As the search continues for BOSAI Excavator Operator, Neptrid Hercules, its seems a search party personnel was forced to discontinue their exercise over the weekend due to several concerns for their own safety.
On Sunday night, Minister of Labour Joseph Hamilton, during an update with the Department Public Information (DPI), explained that while the search will continue, the modus operandi had been changed due to concerns about the structural integrity of the grounds.
Minister Hamilton said that on Saturday evening, the personnel on the ground and members of the search party resumed their efforts. This time around they tried a different approach using a metal detector.
“The worst thing we can want to happen is that we end up with more people underground and so all the technical people that are there consult and take into consideration the safety of everyone… This was not a willy-nilly suspension, these are technical people who are sound. They consulted and made a determination that it might be useful and better that we return in bright daylight to do this,” Minister Hamilton said.
In justifying the reason for the suspension, Minister Hamilton provided an analysis of the situation in terms of the district’s terrain. “You have what can be considered deep valleys and you have high hill sides, so excavation was not yielding the type of fruits expected.”
He continued, “So yesterday they brought in a metal detector to see if perhaps that would help them to pinpoint where the bulldozer is. Up to last evening when they suspended the search and up to this moment, they have been unsuccessful so they continue to excavate areas.”
He posited that while some might argue that flood lights can be used at the site, he said, “It’s not just the lighting, it is the ground itself that you are operating on and so they made that decision and so it was just a suspension of the search on those grounds.”
Hercules and the bulldozer he was operating went missing around 4:00 hrs on Saturday last which immediately prompted a search and rescue effort coordinated by the Occupational Safety and Health Unit of the Ministry of Labour, the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC), and the safety department at BOSAI.