The 21-year old woman, who jumped over the Kaieteur Falls Saturday morning, has been confirmed dead and efforts were being made to retrieve her body, the Ministry of Tourism indicated.
“Updates on the recovery efforts, investigations, and the operation of the Park will continue to be provided as they become available. The Ministry wishes to express their condolences to the family of the passenger,” the Ministry said in a statement. “Efforts are underway to locate the body, and gather statements from all witnesses,” added the Ministry.
Though the Ministry of Tourism and the Protected Areas Commission have not identified her, other usually reliable sources identified her as Roshinee Pagwah.
Authorities are treating her death as an “apparent suicide” based on an account of the moments leading up to the fateful incident. “Based on early reports, a tour group of nine and two guides (one Kaieteur Ranger and a staff member of Roraima Airways) was about to be taken back to their aircraft, when a female passenger turned, ran towards the Falls, and jumped into the gorge. The tour guides on duty were unsuccessful in intercepting her dash,” the ministry said.
Reports indicate that revised tour protocols, including two guides per tour, regular head counts and the reporting of unusual behaviour, were in place and observed at the time of the incident.
Authorities have since ordered the temporary closure of the Kaieteur National Park to facilitate investigations by the Guyana Police Force.
Two months ago, Gyaneshwarie ‘Lalita’ Sivanand committed suicide by jumping off the falls into the gorge. The decomposed remains of her body were found days later and recovered by Guyana Defence Force soldiers.