Two fishermen from the No. 66 Fisheries are feared dead after they were tortured and thrown overboard on Tuesday evening by five armed pirates who burnt their boat.
The captain, known as ‘Fine Man’ and the other fisherman were tortured and their hands and feet tied up while three other crewmembers whose hands alone were tied, managed to swim to safety. The men left for sea on Sunday and were in Suriname waters when they were attacked.
Yesterday, there were reports that other fishermen reportedly spotted a body floating at sea but they were unable to retrieve it. The pirates, who were carrying a gun and four cutlasses, carted off the engine, fish and gasoline before setting the boat alight on the shore.
Reports are that the crew was pulling in their seine when the masked pirates came up in another boat and, using expletives, ordered the captain to “cut off the engine.”
They jumped into the other boat belonging to Vishnu Persaud of No 63 Village and cut the seine, leaving half of it in the water and tied their boat onto the fishermen’s boat. Th
e pirates subsequently took the men to a “mud flat” where they lit a kerosene stove and heated objects that they used to burn the men about their bodies.
Reports are that the pirates then took the men to the boat they were using and locked them in the fish pen. They then poured some of the gasoline into the other boat and set it alight. The pirates subsequently left the area, tossing the men one after the other into the sea. One of the men who survived was rescued on the mud flat by a fishing boat on Wednesday morning, while two others managed to reach the shores of Coroni separately on Thursday. One was brought back to Guyana via a backtrack boat at Springlands.
Meanwhile, the fishermen feel that the government is not doing enough to protect and represent them while there is a lot of focus in the other agricultural sectors.
Over the years, there has been a spate of pirate attacks in the Berbice and Corentyne areas.