Fisherman beaten, thrown overboard, rescued by coastguards

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By: LaWanda McAllister

A 39-year-old fisherman and a father of two who was identified as Fizal Khan, of Vreed-en-Hoop, West Coast Demerara, (WCD) was on Wednesday beaten, bound by the hands, neck, and feet, and thrown overboard by his crewmembers, while on a boat in the Atlantic Ocean in the vicinity of Mahaica, East Coast Demerara.

The man’s sister Elan Jacobus in an interview with this publication on Wednesday said that she was in Bartica, Region Seven (Cuyuni- Mazaruni) on Thursday when she received the news that her brother was hospitalised.

She said she left her home and came to Georgetown, where she was informed by her brother that he was beaten, bound, and thrown overboard by his captain and two other colleagues.

The woman said Khan had left to work on a ship he has been working on for the past four months.

On the day in question, as the ship was sailing offshore, the man said he began feeling sick and asked his captain to turn back to shore.

“When I came down (to town), I didn’t know was so bad… he told me that they were supposed to go on Tuesday but they didn’t get to go until Wednesday. He said he told them he ain’t feeling too good and want to go in back. But he did collect $15000 advance from them.”

“The captain then tell him that he not turning back his boat because he already collected his advance. He said he turn and tell them, man, ‘I really not feeling good’ and he kept insisting that he want to go back”.

“This is like his eighth trip with them and he said they weren’t that far out. When he insisted, the captain get vex, and one of the crewmembers who is family to the captain took out a steel and hit him in his head. He said he fell down and passed out.”

After he was hit to the head and passed out, the man woke up and ran to the kitchen for shelter.

“After he run in the kitchen, they run behind he, this is the captain and two others. They started beating him and then they tied him up. He said he kept falling down because he couldn’t take the licks anymore.”

“They tie his throat, his two hands…while they were doing that, another boat was probably passing and called in the coastguards…they throw him over in the water. When the coast guards reached, they found him tied up and took him to Georgetown Hospital where he was hospitalised,” she explained.

As a result of the beating, the man reportedly sustained a broken jaw and nose along with other minor injuries.

“Right now, he is bleeding through his ears, mouth, and nose, he can’t walk or eat. He is just crying out for pain. He is also now behaving delusional and talking out of his head. He keeps screaming they gonna kill me, they gonna kill me.”

“I had to take him to the psychiatric doctor because he is very traumatised but they transferred him to Vreed-en-Hoop because the pain is a lot…”

Jacobus said after the incident, a report was made to the police and the trio was arrested but was later released.

“When I went to the police, they told me that transfer is to Mahaica because it happened in the Mahaica area…they told me that the people them [the suspects] will come back on Monday but they never showed up.”

“When contact was made with the Police Station in Mahaica they said no report was there and nothing ever came through to them and they told us that they sent it through to Mahaica. Now, tomorrow [Thursday] we have to go to Mahaica to make a report.”

The family is hoping that justice is served for Khan, and the matter is not swept under the carpet.

“It hurts to see my brother in this condition…I want it to go far because they just beat him up and leave him like that and nobody ain’t show up to me to say anything. The is not even saying anything because they beat him real bad.”