Searching South Coast for 4 Missing Fishermen

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By Sue-Ann Wayow

THE search continues for the four fishermen from Mayaro and Guayaguayare who have gone missing.

A bulletin has been issued to all vessels on the south coast to be on the lookout for the men or anything that may give a clue as to where they could be, AZP News was told.

And all resources possible were being used to find Heeralal Cooblal along with Rishi Khemchan, 38, Andy George, 40, and the boat’s captain, identified only as “George,” who went out to sea for the first time on Cooblal’s boat a 32-foot pirogue named Venom II on January 31.


Fisherman Rick Chee-Awai said all his fishing friends and colleagues were searching the entire south coast from east to west hoping to find the men, three of whom he knew personally.

He said, “We are still hoping that they are found alive, that they might be hanging to some gas tank or something.”

Member of Parliament for Mayaro Rushton Paray said he stood willing to assist in any way he could as the families of all the men were distraught.

Paray said the search and rescue team comprises Hunters Search and Rescue Team (HRST), led by Vallence Rambharat, Troopers Search and Rescue from Mayaro, led by Wesley Mohammed, the Coast Guard, the police and other fishermen were all out on Monday morning.

The MP also said the Air Guard was assisting and he also asked Bristow Caribbean to ask helicopter drivers to be on the lookout for anything or anyone while doing its transport service for the offshore platforms.

Paray spent Sunday evening with the family members and did say that by Monday evening, hopes may be diminished of finding the men alive as it would be more than 72 hours that the men would be missing.

With enough supplies to last a few days at sea, the men were expected to return home by at least Friday after leaving the Guayaguayare Fishing Port.

The boat was discovered with supplies on Sunday morning near to Venezuela, off Cedros and had since been towed to the compound of Heritage Petroleum in Point Fortin.

Also speaking with AZP News, head of Fishermen and Friends of the Sea (FFOS) Gary Aboud said that if a proper working national radar system was in place, then it would be easier to locate persons missing at sea.

He also suggested that Coast Guard be dispatched equitably around the borders.


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