The flow field in the near wake region (up to six turbine diameters downstream) of a tidal current turbine is strongly driven by the combined wake of the device support structure and the rotor. Accurate characterisation of the near-wake region is important, but it is dominated by highly turbulent, slow-moving fluid. At present, limited number of researches has been undertaken into the characterisation of the near-wake region for a Vertical Axis Tidal Turbine (VATT) device using the Reynolds Averaged Navier Stokes (RANS) model in the shallow water environment of Malaysia. This paper presents a comprehensive statistical analysis using the Mean Absolute Error (MEA), Mean Squared Error (MSE) and Root Mean Squared Error (RMSE) on the near-wake region for shallow water application by comparing numerical solutions (i.e., different types of RANS turbulence models using Ansys Fluent) with published experimental data. Seven RANS turbulence models with a single VATT, represented by using a cylindrical object, were employed in the preliminary study. The statistical analysis performed in this study is essential in exploring and giving a detailed understanding on the most suitable RANS turbulence model to be improved, specifically on its near-wake region. In this study, the near wake region is defined as D ≤ 6, where D is the device diameter. The analysis shows that the RANS numerical solutions are unable to accurately replicate the near-wake region based on large statistical errors computed. The average RMSE of near-wake region at z/D = [2, 3, 4, 6] are 0.5864, 0.4127, 0.4344 and 0.3577 while the average RMSE at far-wake region z/D = [8, 12] are 0.2269 and 0.1590, where z is the distance from the cylindrical object along the length of domain. The statistical error values are found to decrease with increasing downstream distance from a cylindrical object. Notably, the standard k–ε and realizable k–ε models are the two best turbulent models representing the near-wake region in RANS modelling, yielding the lowest statistical errors (RMSE at z/D = [2, 3, 4, 6] are 0.5666, 0.4020, 0.4113 and 0.3455) among the tested parameters.