Pirates attack 15 fishing vessels off Pomoeroon River
GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Monday February 6, 2012 – A total of 15 fishing vessels off the coast of the Pomeroon River were attacked for almost 24 hours starting Friday.
According to reports, the fisher folk onboard the vessels were intercepted, beaten, tied up and imprisoned on their boats by pirates who later stole the engines and other fishing material.
Captain of Ms Davina, one of the vessels that came under attack, Bharrat Kalicharran, said he was attacked by six masked men armed with cutlasses.
“When we were about 15 knots away, just off the shore of Cozier Village, they ordered us to lie face down on our boats… They tied us up and beat us with cutlasses; before they left, they bruk up we boat,” he recalled.
Now the just established Maritime Search and Rescue Centre, police ad the Coastguard, have launched a major search and rescue mission. Up to Press time three people have been rescued so far.
Speaking during a media briefing, Public Works Minister, Robeson Benn said the situation was evaluated and contact made between some boat owners and the police.
He added that initial reports revealed sunken boats and fishermen adrift east of the mouth of the Pomeroon River.
“The Maritime Rescue Coordinating Centre (MRCC),” he said, “will continue to receive reports and provide coordinates for rescue attempts, and will continue to lead in the effort to recover those who were affected. MRCC will also help the police to determine who the perpetrators of this incident were … the police, military and others at the highest level have been informed and are working on the situation,” he added.