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Protective gear will help save lives—Coast Guard
The Coast Guard is appealing to fishermen and people venturing into the sea to ensure they possess protective gear and communications equipment. Public Relations Officer Kirk Jean-Baptiste said having the equipment in time of distress could help the Coast Guard render timely assistance.
Jean-Baptiste made the call yesterday as the Coast Guard, both air and marine, continued the search for three fishermen, Derick Bilbadal, Arnold Anoop and Bissram Sookdeo, who went missing during a fishing trip two Mondays ago. Jean-Baptiste said life jackets, rocket flares and radios could help to save lives at sea.
“We understand that people are missing their loved ones and our hearts go out for them,” Jean-Baptiste said. “But again, we implore people to wear life jackets and have communication equipment, signal flares and rocket flares when going out to sea. “Tell people where you are going, and go where you said you were going.”
He said this equipment was available at any marine store where fishermen purchased stocks. It has been ten days since the three fishermen, from Brickfield, Waterloo, left their families for a fishing trip off the coast of Chaguaramas aboard the 28-foot pirogue Destiny.
The last person to hear from them was the owner of the boat, who told the Coast Guard one of the men called and reported that they had suffered an engine failure. Jean-Baptiste said there had been no sightings of the men or their vessel and the Coast Guard had sent out an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast (UMIB), alerting seamen to be on the lookout for the missing men.
He said despite the fishermen being out of communication since October 22, a report was only made to the Coast Guard on October 25, and the vessel may have drifted out of local waters. Jean-Baptiste said they have contacted Venezuelan authorities who are more heavily involved in the search at this time.
Amid reports of piracy being the reason for growing disappearance of fishermen, Jean- Baptiste said there have not been any reports of piracy.
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