Friday 15 November, 2019

T&T Coast Guard joins rescue mission for Venezuelans lost at sea

Photo: Venezuelan news agency La Vistazo highlighted the town of Güiria and the approximate location of the incident which left approximately 33 Venezuelans missing at sea.

Photo: Venezuelan news agency La Vistazo highlighted the town of Güiria and the approximate location of the incident which left approximately 33 Venezuelans missing at sea.

Update April 25, 2019, 6:00 pm:

The Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard (TTCG) said so far, nine Venezuelans have been rescued after a boat carrying passengers bound for Trinidad overturned near the Bocas Islands on Wednesday.

The TTCG said in an updated release that five more people, in addition to the four previously rescued, were found by the Venezuelan Coast Guard in Venezuelan waters approximately 55 kilometres north of the crash site, which was close to Los Patos island (near the Bocas). 

The stranded passengers were found approximately 44 kilometres north of Punta Peñas, Venezuela.

The TTCG was also informed that although there were 25 people on the registered list of passengers, there were nine people who were on the vessel but had not been listed. 

As a result, at the latest count, although nine people were rescued, 25 people are still missing at sea. 

The TTCG said vessels were deployed to assist with the rescue operation after the vessel capsized near Los Patos Island in the Gulf of Paria on Wednesday night (April 24, 2019).

"Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard assets have already been actioned to aid in the search and rescue operation and further vessel deployments will be coordinated, once required."

The TTCG said it received a report around 11:40 pm on April 24 that the B/P Jhonnaly Jose (Registration Number: ARSI-CA-0067), which left Güiria, Venezuela on April 23, had overturned at sea.

The Coast Guard was told that the boat's last known position was just east of Patos Island (an island in the northwestern Gulf of Paria which forms part of Venezuela) around 8:30 am on April 25.

The TTCG said the site of the accident is within the remit of the Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre of Venezuela, and therefore it is the responsibility of the Venezuelan government to coordinate search and rescue operations within that geographic area.

However in accordance with its roles and responsibilities with regard to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) and International Convention on Maritime Search and Rescue (SAR) as well as the country's ties with Venezuela, the TTCG said it is working with the Venezuelan authorities to assist with the search and rescue operation. 

Venezuelan news agencies initially reported that 33 people had gone missing - news agency Noticiera Digital said only 25 of the 34 passengers were listed on the Venezuelan Coast Guard’s records.

It is suspected that the vessel may have been overcrowded and that there was an issue with the vessel's motors. 

 

Update April 25, 2019, 2:24 pm:

The Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard (TTCG) said it has joined a search-and-rescue mission for 21 Venezuelans missing at sea after the boat in which they were travelling sank near the Bocas Islands off Trinidad's west coast.

In a statement issued Thursday, the TTCG said vessels have been deployed to assist with the rescue operation after the vessel allegedly capsized near Los Patos Island in the Gulf of Paria on Wednesday night (April 24, 2019).

"Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard assets have already been actioned to aid in the search and rescue operation and further vessel deployments will be coordinated, once required."

The TTCG said it received a report around 11:40 pm on April 24 that the B/P Jhonnaly Jose (Registration Number: ARSI-CA-0067), which left Güiria, Venezuela on April 23, had overturned at sea.

The Coast Guard was told that the boat's last known position was just east of Patos Island (an island in the northwestern Gulf of Paria which forms part of Venezuela) around 8:30 am on April 25.

25 people were listed as passengers on the vessel.

The Coast Guard said they were told that although four people were rescued, 21 people were still unaccounted for up to Thursday.

The TTCG added that as the island is located within the Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre of Venezuela, it is the responsibility of the Venezuelan government to coordinate search and rescue operations within that geographic area.

The TTCG said however that in accordance with its roles and responsibilities with regard to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) and International Convention on Maritime Search and Rescue (SAR) as well as the countries ties with Venezuela, it is working with the Venezuelan authorities to assist with the search and rescue operation. 

Venezuelan news agencies initially reported that 33 people had gone missing - news agency Noticiera Digital said only 23 of the 35 passengers were listed on the Venezuelan Coast Guard’s records.

It is suspected that the vessel may have been overcrowded and that there was an issue with the vessel's motors. 

 

Original story:

Several Venezuelans, 22 of whom are said to be women, are missing at sea after a boat in which they were travelling reportedly sank near the Bocas Islands. 

Venezuelan news site Noticiera Digital reported on April 25 that approximately 33 people left the town of Güiria on April 23, 2019, travelling by boat to Trinidad, when the vessel encountered difficulty.

The new agency said the boat, called the "Yonaili José", sailed from the port of Las Salinas in Güiria on April 23. The news agency was told that approximately 35 people were on board, 22 of whom were women.

The news agency said the boat sank near the Bocas off Trinidad’s western coast and only two people were rescued.  

Facebook page ‘Go Guiria’ said the issue was a problem with the vessel’s motors and it is suspected that those missing may have drowned at sea.

Among those rescued are Francisco Martínez, who was the captain of the boat, and the passenger Yusmari Lezama.

Noticiera Digital said only 23 of the 35 passengers were listed on the Venezuelan Coast Guard’s records.

Families of the passengers in Güiria were said to be anxiously awaiting information on their loved ones, however the news agency said the town suffered from electricity outages until Thursday morning.

The news agency said the boat was also allegedly overloaded.

News agency El Vistazo said investigations were raised as to whether any of the women were being trafficked.

The names of the passengers who were on the boat are listed as follows:

1.- Yoselis Rojas.

2.- Zulma Patinez.

3.- Yusmaris Patinez.

4.- Melani Patinez.

5.- Deique Marin.

6.- Luisa Marin.

7.- Frank Hernández.

8.- Julio Pacheco.

9.- White Ender.

10.- Julio Carrion.

11.- Carmen Larez.

12.- Estefani Flores.

13.- Sariana Lopez.

14.- Ruz Patinez.

15.- Yubrelin Merchan.

16.- Daniamis Medina.

17.- Angelica Mata.

18.- Anabel

19.- Oriana Diaz.

20.- Yenkaris Sifontes.

21.- Yailyn Jiménez.

22.- Yusmary Lezama (Rescued)

23.-Francisco Martinez (Rescued)

LoopTT has reached out to the Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard for information.

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