3510102
Christopher Boodram warded in hospital.

[email protected]

Christopher Boodram, the lone survivor of last weekend’s diving tragedy off Pointe-a-Pierre, has been moved to a private hospital.

Speaking to Guardian Media yesterday, Boodram’s brother Larry said his sibling still remains severely traumatised by the ordeal.

“We have stopped him from talking about what happened because every time he talks he breaks down and cries. We are praying for him and we just want him to get better,” Larry said.

Boodram was pulled out of the pipeline by diver Ronald Ramoutar three hours after they were sucked into a vortex along the 30-inch diametre seabed pipeline which connects in a horseshoe at Berth’s No 5 and 6.

Boodram had been trapped inside the pipeline along with Fyzal Kurban, Rishi Nagessar, Yusuff Henry and Kazim Ali Jr.

Ramoutar said it was because of Kurban that he managed to bring Boodram to safety. The toxic fumes from the pipeline have affected Boodram’s lungs and doctors have told the family this may affect him in years to come.

Larry said after his brother was pulled out of the pipeline, no other diver was sent in to rescue the other men. The T&T Coast Guard divers did not have their diving gear and the rescue mission was aborted although the men were still stuck in the pipeline.

Kurban’s sister Haffeza Kurban-Hyatali described her brother as an excellent diver who had over 30 years of experience. She said their father Ramjohn had died in 1985 after an offshore platform exploded, yet Kurban joined the commercial diving fraternity because of his love for the job.

Meanwhile, Rishi Nagessar’s wife Vanessa Kussie told Guardian Media that operations were still underway to find her husband’s body. Her family has, however, given up hope that he would be found alive.

For most of the day yesterday, Paria security offshore patrols continued to monitor activities around the No 6 Berth in Pointe-a-Pierre as recovery attempts continued to find Nagessar’s body.

Guardian Media’s Rishi Ragoonath journeyed on a boat to the offshore platform yesterday but was stopped by the security patrols who revealed diving operations were in progress.

Meanwhile, relatives of Kazim Ali Jr continued to show support to his family. On his Facebook page, relatives and friends posted memories of the diver.

Cassinlina Maria wrote, “RIP shots boss Kazim Ali. You and your team fought a brave battle and you all are going to paradise now. We will remember you and miss you forever. So long my friend, until we meet again.”

Ali’s father Kazim Ali Sr was said to be distraught and traumatised since his son’s demise. The younger Ali had gone to take footage of the operation.

The five divers had been attempting underwater maintenance on the 30-inch seabed pipeline when a vortex was triggered, causing the men to be sucked into the pipeline. Only Boodram survived.