Missing fishermen reunited with their families
CHARLESTOWN, Nevis – COMMANDING OFFICER of the St. Kitts-Nevis Defence Force Coast Guard, Major Andrew Bass is encouraging fishermen to take all necessary steps in ensuring safety at sea and to employ measures that could assisted with rescue operations should they encounter difficulties when out on fishing trips.
“I encourage the good practice of all fishers to have on board all mandatory and other necessary lifesaving equipment, notifying family, Fisheries Department and the Coast Guard of their approximate location, and the extreme importance of early notification when an incident occurs. These wise practices, I believe, will allow for speedy activation of resources in the event of unfortunate occurrences.”
This advice came in the wake of the two fishermen, Carlos Jimenez (35) and Ismael Vicente Lorenzo (41) of Bath Village, who were reported missing on Wednesday (Apr. 10) after they failed to return from a fishing trip earlier that day.
Fortunately, however, both of them were rescued and transported on Saturday (Apr. 13) by the St. Kitts-Nevis Coast Guard from Saba back to Nevis, where they were reunited with their families.
On Thursday (Apr. 12), police on Nevis had confirm with their counterparts in Saba that the two men were in their custody after a vessel travelling between Saba and St. Maarten had spotted them sitting on top of their boat that had capsized.
Police on Saba had provided the duo with food, medical attention and accommodation.
On return to Nevis, they were reportedly in good health and were interviewed.
Major Bass described the situation as “a success story” and added that it “highlights the coordinated regional effort in support of safety of lives at sea”.
He said that the operation was coordinated by the Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre (MRCC) that communicates with an array of regional coast guards and other maritime commercial traffic as well as search and rescue aircraft.
Bass explained that as a result of information relayed to the MRCC by the St. Kitts-Nevis Coast Guard, a message would have been sent to all vessels travelling within a certain area to look out for the two men.
“Every bit of information provided was quickly analysed to produce general search areas to which we could deploy surface and air assets. From the family of the fishers to multiple regional agencies, participated in the search and eventual rescue, and I wish to express the Defence Force Coast Guard’s gratitude to each person and department that assisted,” he said.
Meanwhile, the police have expressed gratitude to all those who reached out, in different ways, to inquire about the fishermen’s well-being and tried to assist with locating them.