Hear Harrowing Tape of Divers: ‘I am inside the pipe’

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By Sue-Ann Wayow

THE voices of the four underwater divers who lost their lives in February this year in the Paria tragedy were heard on Monday. The recording revealed that at least two men suffered broken limbs before they drowned.

But even in their time of distress, they were still able to share a laugh with each other.


Video and audio recording of the last moments of Fyzal Kurban, Rishi Nagassar, Kazim Ali Jr and Yusuf Henry were seen alive were played as the Commission of Enquiry (CoE) with the mandate to investigate their deaths got underway at Tower D of the International Waterfront Centre, Port of Spain. Monday was the first day of evidential hearing. The lone survivor Christopher Boodram is heard trying to make sense of the situation by asking the position of the divers on February 25, 2022.

Chairman of the enquiry Jerome Lynch, KC, said in his opening remarks that the public will hear and see recordings from the pipeline in which the men died in at No. 36 sealine riser on the Berth 6 offshore platform at Pointe-a-Pierre, belonging to Paria Trading Fuel Company. They were sucked in what is termed a Delta P where the pressure of the water in two different areas caused one to be sucked into another.


He warned, “It is harrowing to listen to… There was no one who has listened to it who has not been moved.”

Lynch also advised anyone if it was too much for them to hear, they can leave the room temporarily.

Counsel to the CoE, Ramesh Lawrence-Maharaj said, “We wish to advise persons in the room and viewing virtually that the footage and audio retrieved contains distressing, graphic and graphic contents of the harrowing experience of the divers. Viewer discretion is therefore advised.”

The entire footage was not played but six minutes and 55 seconds of content of what was retrieved.

The proceedings were shown live on TTT.

Listen to an excerpt of the audio below:

The footage shows Kazim Ali Jr, entering the water after handing someone a wrench.

Snippets of the audible audio are as follows:

‘Yusuf, you hearing meh?”

“Yeah, I hearing you.”

“I inside the pipe.”

“I inside the pipe too. I trying to come out.”

“All ah we inside this thing, we have to go. We have to start moving.”

“Where you boy?”

“I don’t know I trying to come out.”

Someone bawls out. 

“Whose is that bawling dey?”


“Yeah boy”

“Oh Yusuf!”

“Yeah boy.”

“How long you have to walk before you could find me?”

“Who with you?

“Right now is me and Fyzie here right now.”

“Kaz! Where you?”

“Right here.”

“Right here is where?”

Laughing, “That’s a stupid question.”

“Kaz everything  alright with you?”


“Any of your limb break”

“My leg.”

“Your leg alright.”

“Fyz anything happen to you?”

“Yosuf anything happen to you?”

“Yeah boy”

“Meh foot break.”

Maharaj said the counsel received statements and representation from over 62 persons and or entities, conducted over 33 interviews from witnesses and received over 20,000 pages of documents.

He also read from a statement obtained from Christopher Boodram, the sole survivor of the incident and the only eye witness to what actually occurred inside the pipeline.


He is expected to take the witness box when the enquiry continues on Tuesday.

Quoting Boodram’s statement, Lawrence-Maharaj said, “I remember jumping into the water to swim out from inside the Chamber but strange enough as I entered the water, I felt my body was lifted by the water rather than allowing me to sink in it. I felt like it had no gravity. 

“Then I remember being swirled inside the Chamber like a tornado. The Chamber was pitch black and my body was spinning out of control in the water. I was sucked into the pipe and I felt my body crashing about in the pipe. 

“I remember my body was flying through the pipe like what felt like a 100 miles per hour. I thought to myself that I was destined to die because I was inside the pipe. There was no air and I was going to drown. 


“I could not see a thing. I felt my body hitting the inside of the pipe and the slushy debris on the walls of the pipe. I was holding my breath for as long as I could. I remember hearing like my lungs were cracking and my throat was hurting from how hard I was trying to hold my breath before I drowned.”

Lynch informed the CoE that Boodram has requested to be present throughout the enquiry.


“In order to accommodate him, we will take his evidence first out of sequence so he can do just that,” he said.

Lynch also said that Boodram’s evidence will be heard in full unlike the other witnesses as what he went through on the afternoon of February 25 when he was stuck inside the pipe which was a horrifying event that he relives every day.

He said, “Any cross examination of him must be done with sensitivity and limited to only that which was necessary.”

Copies of the documents and transcriptions can be accessed on the commission’s website at www.coe2022.com


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