Fishing net found near Mahaica River; dive team still searching for missing men
A diving team that was dispatched to search for missing fishermen found the fishing net, Minister within the Ministry of Public Works Deodat Indar said on Tuesday.
Three fishermen are feared dead after a Noble House Seafoods trawler reportedly sank early Saturday morning in the Mahaica River. The men feared dead are: Captain Harold Damon, Winston Sam and Ronald Burton.
The trio alongside another seaman, Vincent Dazzell, were working aboard the vessel. Dazzell was rescued by another vessel but the others were not so lucky.
“They (the divers) came last night and they didn’t find the vessel but they found the net floating in the general area where the vessel went down,” Indar told the News Room on Tuesday.
The search and rescue team returned to the location early Tuesday hoping to locate the vessel.
This team was mobilised by the Ministry of Public Works on Sunday but there has been no sight of the men. The News Room reported previously that Dazzell told family members that the men were trapped underneath the sunken vessel.
Government officials have lamented that the company did not report the vessel was in distress and as such, assistance was not immediately mobilised.
Consequently, a multi-agency Board of Inquiry has been set up to investigate the incident. Expected distress signals, Maritime Administration Department (MARAD) Director-General Stephen Thomas said, were not issued either.
This has raised concerns about the maintenance of the much-needed emergency equipment aboard the sunken vessel.
Noble House Seafoods, via a press release issued Monday night, said that it has launched an internal investigation into the incident and is willing to cooperate with any other investigation.
When asked about the company’s provision of information, Indar said that the Board has been tasked with investigating the company. This Board is empowered by Guyana’s Shipping Act to compel Noble House Seafoods to provide all information as necessary.
Meanwhile, family members of the fishermen remain unsatisfied with the company’s response to the issue.
Tonszadel Beckles-Damon, Captain Damon’s wife, told the News Room that the company has been unable to clarify what transpired since Captain Damon had radioed the company for help before the boat capsized on Saturday.