After surviving a brutal piracy attack a year ago in Suriname, a fisherman is struggling to make ends meet as he is now unable to work.
Dharamdeo Persaud known as ‘Achie boy’ worked as a fisherman for 40 years until April 27, 2018, when the boat he captained ‘Joshua’ was attacked by pirates. He was chopped, beaten and thrown overboard with the boat’s anchor strung around his neck and left to die.
“When me sleep night time, me dream and [scream] in my sleep,” Persaud told the News Room in an interview at his Corentyne, Berbice home Friday.
He said the memories are too vivid in his mind. He was not provided with any counselling to help him cope.
Persaud is one of four persons who miraculously survived the attack which left over a dozen men dead or missing. He was the lone survivor from his boat which had five fishermen onboard.
During the attack, a vein in his hand was chopped, thus affecting his ability to work. He told the media that he has been forced to do odd jobs around the community to afford to purchase food.
“Meh gotta do lil run-a-bai wuk because meh can’t wuk, if anybody send me shop or market that’s what meh gotta do to get something to survive,” he said.
Persaud said he made attempts to access public assistance but was only met with promises from officials.
In June 2018, Minister of Public Security Khemraj Ramjattan provided a one -off compensation of $100,000 to some of the immediate family members of the victims.
Persaud recalled that when he heard of the assistance, he reached out to the Ministry but was only met with promises.
The man said he has been working as a fisherman since the age of 16 and is even willing to go back to the trade but cannot do so.
“Me want go back to sea but me can’t go back because my hand don’t have the strength. What’s the use going? What me gon go and do?” he questioned, adding that he still suffers from pain about his body as a result of the tragic incident.
The Corentyne man is pleading for assistance to afford clothing and other amenities.
During the period of April 27/28, four fishing vessels were attacked by a group of men who savagely beat, chopped, burnt the fisherman with hot oil and then dumped them overboard.
Four persons miraculously survived the attack, three bodies were recovered while the remains of the fishermen were never found.
Murder charges were subsequently laid against the suspects who hail from Region six.