HomeCARIBBEAN NEWSTrinidad: Fisherman's Body Washes Ashore, 2 Days After Pirate Attack

Trinidad: Fisherman’s Body Washes Ashore, 2 Days After Pirate Attack

(TRINIDAD EXPRESS) – The body of San Fernando fisherman Andrew Volman washed ashore this morning, two days after his fishing vessel was attacked by pirates and he was thrown overboard at gunpoint.

Volman was in the company of a relative, who was able to swim back to shore, when the incident occurred outside of La Brea at around 9p.m Sunday.

His body was found in La Brea. His family has been notified.

In a new release yesterday, Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard’s public affairs officer, Lieutenant Khadija Lamy, confirmed having received information from the police concerning Sunday’s incident.

Lamy said the information passed on was that two persons engaged in fishing had been forced to jump into the waters off La Brea by bandits who later stole their vessel, and that one of the men was able to make it ashore but lost sight of the other who is presumed to be missing.

Lamy said a TTCG vessel was dispatched to to search the area where the incident occurred, for the missing fisherman and his vessel, and that searches for the missing man are continuing.

Environmental group Fishermen and Friends of the Sea (FFOS) also issued a statement, said that the boat with its engine and the cellphones of the fishermen were stolen but the boat was later recovered with its nets but minus the engine.

FFOS stated that based on information at hand, the men had life vests aboard the boat and the Coast Guard had been contacted but they are still awaiting assistance from the authorities.

“This is an urgent call for all fishermen, marines and seafarers in La Brea, Point Fortin, Otaheite, San Fernando, Marabella and anyone else available to assist in finding our missing fisherman.

“The first 24 hours is the most critical,” FFOS stated.

When Express visited the Lady Hailes Avenue home of Volman’s relative who made it back to shore, we were told that he’s too traumatised to speak to the media.

Contrary to statement put out by the TTCG, Express was also told by another relative that the Coast Guard informed them they had to provide a boat for a search to be conducted as the Coast Guard did not have a vessel available.

The relative stated that the owner of the boat they sourced is also asking for $400 worth of fuel be provided for the exercise.

‘Fishermen treated poorly’

Commenting yesterday on the incident, FFOS’ corporate secretary Gary Aboud said it is diabolical how these poor fishermen are treated.

He said in 2019 a Government convened stakeholder committee met about seven or eight times and a proposal was drafted to treat with the issue, with copies being delivered to Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley and then National Security Minister Stuart Young. However, he believes they are yet to take a look at it since not a single recommendation has been acted upon.

“I hate to say this but if these men were from Westmoorings or Bayshore we would see a different response,” Aboud said.

Aboud’s comments came just about one week after he appealed to the Government to provide safety and security to fishermen who continue to come under attack from pirates.

At that time, he was addressing the issues of four vessels being stolen at Carli Bay, an attack on a father and son at Woodland, and a fisherman beaten and robbed at Otaheite

Reminding a group of fishermen at Carli Bay that it was two years since seven fishermen were killed by pirates at sea, Aboud said: “Since we appealed to the Minister of National Security two years ago, nothing has been done. It is the same normal freeness, same danger. Anything could happen on the seas and we do not see any Coast Guard. There is not even a working hotline to call or an emergency response. It is a mess.”

Carli Bay boat captain robbed last Thursday

At Carli Bay, boat captain Desmond Belfast reported that at around 1.30 a.m. last Thursday he was shot at and robbed of his boat, engine and equipment by pirates.

According to the police, Belfast, a resident of St Margaret’s, Claxton Bay, was at sea approximately two miles off the Pointe-a-Pierre and Claxton Bay Fishing Port when he came under gunfire by five men in another boat.

Three of the suspects boarded Belfast’s boat and announced a robbery. He jumped off the boat and swam ashore.

The pirates made off with his 28-foot pirogue named Tristan Jaron & Nicolai valued at $65,000, a Yamaha 75 engine valued $55,000 and a 50-lb fishing net valued $5,000.

Belfast was assisted by other fishermen who heard the gunfire.

Meanwhile, Carli Bay Fishing Association’s president Imtiaz Khan said that the attack follows previous ones in 2018 when fishermen lost seven engines and two boats, and then in 2019 when seven fishermen were killed.

washed ashore this morning, two days after his fishing vessel was attacked by pirates and he was thrown overboard at gunpoint.

Volman was in the company of a relative, who was able to swim back to shore, when the incident occurred outside of La Brea at around 9p.m Sunday.

His body was found this morning in La Brea.

In a new release yesterday, Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard’s public affairs officer, Lieutenant Khadija Lamy, confirmed having received information from the police concerning Sunday’s incident.

Lamy said the information passed on was that two persons engaged in fishing had been forced to jump into the waters off La Brea by bandits who later stole their vessel, and that one of the men was able to make it ashore but lost sight of the other who is presumed to be missing.

Lamy said a TTCG vessel was dispatched to to search the area where the incident occurred, for the missing fisherman and his vessel, and that searches for the missing man are continuing.

Environmental group Fishermen and Friends of the Sea (FFOS) also issued a statement, said that the boat with its engine and the cellphones of the fishermen were stolen but the boat was later recovered with its nets but minus the engine.

FFOS stated that based on information at hand, the men had life vests aboard the boat and the Coast Guard had been contacted but they are still awaiting assistance from the authorities.

“This is an urgent call for all fishermen, marines and seafarers in La Brea, Point Fortin, Otaheite, San Fernando, Marabella and anyone else available to assist in finding our missing fisherman.

“The first 24 hours is the most critical,” FFOS stated.

When Express visited the Lady Hailes Avenue home of Volman’s relative who made it back to shore, we were told that he’s too traumatised to speak to the media.

Contrary to statement put out by the TTCG, Express was also told by another relative that the Coast Guard informed them they had to provide a boat for a search to be conducted as the Coast Guard did not have a vessel available.

The relative stated that the owner of the boat they sourced is also asking for $400 worth of fuel be provided for the exercise.

‘Fishermen treated poorly’

Commenting yesterday on the incident, FFOS’ corporate secretary Gary Aboud said it is diabolical how these poor fishermen are treated.

He said in 2019 a Government convened stakeholder committee met about seven or eight times and a proposal was drafted to treat with the issue, with copies being delivered to Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley and then National Security Minister Stuart Young. However, he believes they are yet to take a look at it since not a single recommendation has been acted upon.

“I hate to say this but if these men were from Westmoorings or Bayshore we would see a different response,” Aboud said.

Aboud’s comments came just about one week after he appealed to the Government to provide safety and security to fishermen who continue to come under attack from pirates.

At that time, he was addressing the issues of four vessels being stolen at Carli Bay, an attack on a father and son at Woodland, and a fisherman beaten and robbed at Otaheite

Reminding a group of fishermen at Carli Bay that it was two years since seven fishermen were killed by pirates at sea, Aboud said: “Since we appealed to the Minister of National Security two years ago, nothing has been done. It is the same normal freeness, same danger. Anything could happen on the seas and we do not see any Coast Guard. There is not even a working hotline to call or an emergency response. It is a mess.”

Carli Bay boat captain robbed last Thursday

At Carli Bay, boat captain Desmond Belfast reported that at around 1.30 a.m. last Thursday he was shot at and robbed of his boat, engine and equipment by pirates.

According to the police, Belfast, a resident of St Margaret’s, Claxton Bay, was at sea approximately two miles off the Pointe-a-Pierre and Claxton Bay Fishing Port when he came under gunfire by five men in another boat.

Three of the suspects boarded Belfast’s boat and announced a robbery. He jumped off the boat and swam ashore.

The pirates made off with his 28-foot pirogue named Tristan Jaron & Nicolai valued at $65,000, a Yamaha 75 engine valued $55,000 and a 50-lb fishing net valued $5,000.

Belfast was assisted by other fishermen who heard the gunfire.

Meanwhile, Carli Bay Fishing Association’s president Imtiaz Khan said that the attack follows previous ones in 2018 when fishermen lost seven engines and two boats, and then in 2019 when seven fishermen were killed.

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