Thursday 4 June, 2020

T&T Coast Guard retrieves body of 5th fisherman

The body of the fifth missing fisherman involved in a brutal attack at sea has been found, Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard (TTCG) officials confirmed.

The body, identified as that of 18-year-old Alex Sooknanan, was spotted in the Gulf of Paria by Coast Guard officials and was retrieved around 12:45 pm on Monday, according to the TTCG. 

Two other fishermen - Justin Kissoon, 19, and Jason Baptiste, 30 - remained missing at sea up to Tuesday midday, after an attack last Monday (July 22, 2019) in which seven fishermen were tossed out of their boats and left to perish at sea. 

The brutal act has shocked the Carli Bay community, with many calling for more protection for fishermen, who villagers said are being preyed on by criminals. 

Dead are Brandon "Curry" Kissoon, 21, Shiva "Aries" Ramdeo, 27, Anand Rampersad, 39, and Leslie De Boulet, who were found in the waters off Point Fortin, Cedros, and La Brea after the group went on a fishing expedition.

Armed men attacked the fishermen, robbing them of their vessels and engines. The engines were later recovered in the Sea Lots area.

A person of interest in the investigation, Akani 'Dole' Adams, was killed by police during an altercation in the Sea Lots area. Police suspected that he may have been involved in the incident. 

Couva North MP, Ramona Ramdial, and local NGO Fishermen and Friends of the Sea (FFOS) have condemned government's emergency response, however National Security Minister Stuart Young has maintained that all of his Ministry's available resources have been employed in the search. 

Young also expressed his condolences to the families whose relatives’ lives were lost “at the hands of heinous criminals”.

The search continues for the two remaining fishermen. 

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