Guyana: “Missing Fishermen-Four bodies recovered”

…as Suriname intensifies search for missing fishermen

WITH the recovery of four bodies believed to be those of the missing fishermen in Friday’s piracy attack, relatives of the other missing men are growing more and more uneasy with less hope of finding their loved ones alive.

The bodies were spotted within 30 miles from Zorg-en-Hoop, an area off the WaiWai bank by an airline pilot attached to Suriname domestic carrier, Gumair Airlines. The information was radioed in to the ground crew and the bodies were retrieved. Up to press time, efforts were being made to bring the bodies to shore as relatives waited anxiously.

So far Guyana Chronicle has been able to confirm the names of nine of the 16 persons who went missing after the attack. They are Vickey Persaud, 23; Ramesh Sanchara, 51; Glenroy Jones, 20; Tikaknauth Mohabir, 50; Randy Burnette, 19; Bobby Ibrahim; Bharat Heralall; Ganesh Persaud, 27, of Number 2 Village, East Canje, Berbice, and his cousin, Ralph Anthony Couchman, 19, also of Number 2 Village, East Canje. The body that was retrieved earlier in the day, Wednesday, has been positively identified by relatives as that of Ganesh Persaud, 27 of Number 2 Village, East Canje and a father of two.

According to his sister, Yurajwattie Hussein called “Yonette”, her brother joined the fishing industry from the age of 13, initially patching seins and doing odd work. At age 14 he left Guyana and went to neighbouring Suriname to work on fishing boats, initially earning just US$20 per trip. In January this year, he turned 27. He has two children–Devin and Jayon–ages 5 and 2 respectively.

A meal of fish curry 
Like most fishermen, he would spend a few months out at sea and then return to Guyana to spend some time. He had left for Suriname in January and was scheduled to return after he would have completed this trip; he never made it home. According to information from Hussein, the piracy attack on her brother’s boat would have occurred sometime after midnight on Friday as he called his wife, Kavita, around then and told her he was about to go cook a “catfish” he had just caught. “When them find the boat, the engine did damage and the boat had thick, thick blood. Them find the catfish curry and vermicelli what he tell she he did cooking”, the grieving sister related.

His body was positively identified by relatives while arrangements are being made to bring the others to shore and have them identified. Meanwhile, the relatives of Ralph Anthony Coachman said they believe he did not survive the attack, since he was on the same boat as his cousin, Ganesh Persaud, and are hoping to retrieve his body to bring closure and give him a “proper send off.” The family is planning to travel to Suriname as soon as they can get their Yellow Fever vaccines. Couchman left with Persaud in January in search of a better life. Among the persons planning to make the trip is his 75-year-old grandmother who shared a special bond with him. According to Radica Ramnarace–a cousin–the grandmother has been ill since the incident and wants to be able to “send off” (bury) her grandson herself and is adamant she is going to Suriname.



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