by Radhica De Silva
Desperate to escape Venezuelan pirates, two kidnapped fishermen jumped off their abductor's boat on Monday night but only one of them managed to make it home safely.
Bruised and traumatised Keyon Alexander, 29, of La Union Road, Erin arrived home around 3 pm.
He had spent the night swimming desperately and bawling for help from passing boats.
However, it was hours later that he managed to climb on top of an offshore oil installation where he rested for a while before being picked up by a passing boat occupied by local fishermen.
Alexander's boat captain Anthony George, 32, of Guayaguayare remained missing up to late Tuesday and Coast Guard officers continued searching the seas with the hope of finding him.
During an exclusive interview with Guardian Media, Alexander's sister Adanna Ahey expressed gratitude that God had saved her brother's life.
"The inside of his legs grate up because he had to climb up the platform. His feet bruised and bloody. His clothes dirty. He said it not nice out there. These Venezuelan men desperate," Ahey said. Alexander went to the Cap-de-Ville police station half an hour after he arrived home to report the kidnapping to the police.
Ahey said Alexander was not fond of going to the sea after they lost their brother Edmund Charles following a boat crash last year. However, she said he could not find work so out of desperation he decided to make the trek to the sea.
Ahey said while fishing aboard a pirogue named Good One they were accosted by a gunman who ordered them into another vessel.
The Venezuelan pirates then contacted George and Alexander's family. They demanded US$5,000 for George and $US10,000 for Alexander. Ahey said she did not know why her brother was worth more.
The call was made to a nephew and the family was told the fishermen will be killed if they did not pay. The Venezuelans also placed the men's phones in a rice bucket and sent a photo to the family as proof that they were captured.
Ahey said they were not wealthy and could not afford a US$10,000 ransom.
She said Alexander has been fishing since he was 12 but since Charles's death he has been trying to make ends meet by doing construction.
Keyon's wife Abigail Alexis declined to comment yesterday saying she did not have any details to share.
Police said yesterday that the matter was being investigated. A senior police source said they were pursuing an allegation that someone from the area was liaising directly with the Venezuelan pirate gang to kidnap fishermen.
January 12- Kenrick Morgan, 17 and his cousin Kendell Singh, 24, were kidnapped while fishing in the sea off Gran Chemin, Moruga. The kidnappers demanded a ransom of US$40,000 which was later changed to US$20,000 and five iPhones. They were also released.
February 8- After paying a US$90,000 ransom, which included 10 cellphones, gold jewellery and several boat engines, five fishermen - Lynton Manohar, 35, Jason O’Brian, 38, Jagdesh Jude Jaikaran, 16, Brandon Arjoon, 28 and Ricky Rambharose, 35, from Morne Diablo, Penal returned home after being kidnapped for more than a week.