(JAMAICA GLEANER) Fishermen attached to Rainforest Seafoods caught an unlikely catch at sea on Monday when an elderly fisherman was rescued after drifting for seven days.
The man, known only as Okey, in his late 50s, of a Treasure Beach address, was in a horrible condition, hungry, exhausted and near death, Rainforest Seafoods’ Director of Marketing and Corporate Affairs Roger Lyn confirmed to The Gleaner. He added that his crew provided food and drink and notified the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) Coast Guard.
“He was found 100 miles off shore by crew piloting one of our lobster fishing vessels. His engine was broken and he was apparently adrift for seven days.”
Lauding the JDF for its quick response, Lyn said that within 24 hours the coast guard team was on site to retrieve the man who was expected to return to Jamaican shores last night.
Fearing his death was imminent after a week of no contact, Okey’s friend, Balvin Williams thought, he was dead. “When we got the call yesterday (Monday morning), I was relieved,” said Williams.
A father of four, Williams said Okey, who has been a fisherman for 25 years, went missing on Independence Day, Monday, August 6.
Days after not seeing him, a report was made to the police.
For Rainforest Seafoods, the rescue is part of their duty to look out for artisanal fisherfolk, who are important stakeholders in the fisheries industry.
“We are just very happy that we were in the right position at the right time,” stated Lyn.