In light of the recent piracy attack on a fishing vessel that left one dead and two other persons traumatised, fishermen along the Corentyne are calling on the relevant authorities to ensure frequent patrols by Coast Guards as they are fearful for their lives and safety.
The fishermen told reporters that they are more fearful now, after realising that no Coast Guard rendered any assistance or even visited the area where the vessel was attacked on Tuesday evening (May 16, 2017).
Fisherman, Permaul Samaroo told the News Room that he has been doing the same job for about 12 years and ever since, he has been given little or no support from the Coast Guards who are expected to provide protection.
“For the longest while we nah get coast guard, it happen so like if they run two times for the early part of the year that’s it and they don’t run back so right now we don’t have coast guard or nothing. We are fishermen and we would glad to have protection but who we gonna talk to” Samaroo said.
He recalled that on several occasions they were invited to meetings in Georgetown and were promised that there will be an increase of patrol on the Corentyne River, but this he said never materialised.
Doodnauth Persaud who been plying his trade as a fisherman for 20 years told reporters that whenever efforts are made to get in contact with the Coast Guards, it is often times unsuccessful. However, he said when the police are contacted, they are told to make contact with the coast guards.
According to Persaud “We don’t get no response from the coast guard, anything when you go to the police and you ask them to go out deh them nah want go them ah ask you to go call the coast guard, when you call the coast guard now all what them ah tell you is that them ah come out and two-three days you nah even see nobody come out”
Persaud noted that fishermen are often times reminded that they must have the required documentation and other resources before allowed to go out at sea, and failure to do so will have their vessels intercepted but they in return do not receive any form of protection or safety.
Meanwhile, the Commander of ‘B’ Division, Ian Amsterdam told the News Room via telephone that the service of the Coast Guard does not fall under his division. However, he related that they should be conducting patrols on a regular basis.
On Wednesday, May 17, 2017, the body of a father of two who along with two other crew members who were attacked and thrown overboard by pirates on Tuesday evening, washed up at the Rose Hall Town Foreshore.
Dead is 45-year-old Mahadeo Ramdial who was the captain of the vessel which was attacked. The other crew members who survived the attack have been identified as 21-year-old Permanand Nandan of Tain Village, and 45-year-old Arjune Permaul of Kilcoy Squatting area.