Surgery was performed on the 13-year-old that same day, after she arrived at the Medical Associates private hospital in St Joseph, with her left hand hanging only by pieces of tissue.

Her mother Raquel, 40, also a US citizen, also remains warded at the east-wing of the hospital, nursing injuries to her left arm and back.

A third person identified as Lance Aqui, 23, of Christina Gardens, Arima, was also warded at the institution, nursing a severely damaged ankle.

A family member yesterday said the injury reportedly sustained by Lance was more serious than initially thought. He said Lance was informed by doctors that he would not be able to walk for up to six months.

Lance reportedly lives between his family home in Arima and a vacation home in an island close to Scotland Bay, Chaguaramas.

During a phone interview yesterday, his mother Trina Aqui said the family was taking their concerns to the US Embassy on Marli Street, Port-of-Spain, to request that they detail personnel to help in the investigation.

This, Aqui said, following the refusal of the Coast Guard to furnish them with detailed information about the accident.

“We are going to be contacting the US Embassy to ask them to look into the investigation because the Coast Guard doesn’t want to give us any information...the driver of the boat and the name of the pirogue,” said Aqui.

Paige’s father was expected to arrive in Trinidad yesterday evening.

The incident reportedly occurred just after 12 pm Sunday, as Coast Guard Interceptor 019 was on patrol in the Chaguaramas area.

Raquel and her daughter, both of New England, US, were paddling on a two-man kayak belonging to Lance. Lance was sitting on the bow while they paddled.

It is reported that on reaching close to Scotland Bay, they were struck by a 28-foot pirogue Andelle.

With its 200-horse power engine, the pirogue reportedly struck the port (left) side of the kayak, sending the Welches and Lance into the water.

The engine propeller reportedly ripped the tiny kayak in half.

The Coast Guard responded within minutes, rescued the kayakers and administered medical aid, crucial in saving the girl’s limb.

An Army private officer was reportedly steering Andelle when the accident occurred.

He is believed to be assigned to the Teteron Barracks. Coast Guard officers also towed-in the pirogue and kayak wreckage back to their Stauble Bay base, where investigators from the Carenage Police Station are set to start their enquiries.

Public affairs officer of the Coast Guard Lt Kirk Jean-Baptiste yesterday told Newsday their preliminary report is passed on to the police, the active investigators in the accident.

“We don’t give out our report…what we have is a chronological report of our role in the incident. I directed them (the Aqui family) to the police who will receive our report and give them a copy if they can do so,” he said.

“It is an emotional time for the family and I told them the man driving the pirogue was a private in the army…I directed them to the Defence Force.”

The incident brought back memories of June 12, 2007, when students Yanik Quesnel, 17, of Cascade, and his friend Carolina Barry-Laso, 16, of Spain sustained multiple broken bones and severe head injuries when a pirogue crashed into them as they were swimming in the waters at Pigeon Pt Bay, Tobago. Quesnel shocked doctors when he made a remarkable recovery, but suffered brain damage.



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