Corentyne fishermen missing at sea

Relatives of a Corentyne fishing crew are praying for their safe return after the vessel they were working on was found at the Whim foreshore around midday on Thursday minus the catch and seine.

The captain, known only as ‘Rajin’ and his four-member crew left for sea two weeks ago in the blue vessel, named ‘Ms Seema’ that belonged to Beeram Persaud of No 60 Village.

Residents of Whim saw the boat and made a report to the fisheries officer in Berbice who in turn informed officials at the No 66 Fisheries. It is believed that the men were attacked by pirates.

Persaud visited the scene with the police and confirmed that the boat was his. He later received information from his licensing counterpart in Suriname that a body was seen floating on the shores around the Coroni and Copenaam area.

Sources from the fisheries said Persaud then travelled to Suriname to identify the bodies. It is believed that the men were part of his crew.

The source said that the engine was still intact but all of the catch was removed from the ice box along with the fishing seine.

One side of the ice box cover was also missing. Some fish that the men had placed on the cabin to dry were left behind.

According to the source, the fact that the engine was intact meant that the men were probably tossed overboard. The source said too that the pirates would only damage the engine when the crew is beaten and left in the boat.

He told this newspaper that as word of the missing fishermen spread around the fisheries yesterday, fishermen were afraid to go out to sea.

He said the men refused to load their boats to go out “because they don’t know who is next.” A lot of ice that they were supposed to take at sea “was melting.”

One man washed ashore dead last week and three others are missing and feared dead following a pirate attack in Suriname waters.

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