- on Corentyne river
The captain of a fishing boat is now dead as two fishermen swam ashore following an alleged piracy attack on the Corentyne River Tuesday night.
Dead is Mahadeo Ramdial also called ‘Chico’, 46, of Lot 146 Kilcoy Squatting Area, Corentyne while the two survivors of the attack are Parmanand Nandan, 21, of Tain, Corentyne and Arjune Permaul, 45, of Kilcoy Squatting Area.
According to reports, the two survivors said they were thrown overboard while the captain was lashed in his head with a cutlass and told to jump overboard. He swam half the distance, both of the survivors claim.
Nandan said at about 18:30hrs they were aboard MV Varuni 4 when a smaller fishing boat crashed into theirs. He related that there were two pirates in the boat who were masked. At the time they were fishing in the vicinity of Tain about one mile into the Corentyne River.
“A small boat approached us and hit we and they tell we that everybody got to go in the cabin,” Nandan related.
According to the physically shaken man, they were all instructed to keep their head down. The next instruction was for the captain and one of the workers to lose the boat engine and place it into the pirate’s boat.
Being the more able-bodied, he and Ramdial transferred the boat engine to the other boat.
Meanwhile, Permaul was told to take some of the catch and place it into the pirate’s boat. “They didn’t want all just some like they didn’t have time or something.”
The men reported that the trio was placed into the pirate’s boat while they cut the seine from MV Varuni 4 and left it to drift. “Then dem tell we jump overboard. We beg ‘OH Uncle don’t throw abe overboard’, dem say ‘Allyu got to go over or we gon chap and shoot you all’. So me and that one boy jump overboard,” he said.
Permaul in relating the story said Ramdial was lashed in the head with a cutlass and told to jump into the water which was about 24-feet deep. When he got into the water the three men started swimming towards the shore.
Reports are that Ramdial said he could not make it and held on to Permaul, but the fisherman said he could not carry him. As they moved closer to land Ramdial was lagging behind.
“I call he like three times and he answer and the next two times no answer,” the 45-year-old Permaul told this publication.
Both men said they discovered another fishing vessel in the vicinity of Port Mourant. “We hold on to the anchor rope and call them and they rescue we,” the younger of the two explained.
The men say they swam for two hours before they found rescue.
Permaul has been a fisherman for 18 years and was attacked by pirates once before. Nandan was also a victim of a piracy attack once.
Meanwhile, the missing fisherman has been accustomed to the harsh conditions of the sea since he was the age of ten. For the past 17 years, he has operated as a captain.
The crew left on Monday and were expected back today.
The boat is owned by Permaul Persaud Samaroo of Kilcoy. According to him, his boats have come under piracy attack on three occasions and on each occasion, he lost an 40hp Yamaha outboard Engine.
Following the report, he led a crew on a search.
Meanwhile, the dead fisherman’s father is of the view that foul play may have been involved. His belief is based on some of the evidence provided by the two other fishermen.
According to the 65-year-old Bhudram Mahadeo, he cannot believe that two pirates can successfully carry out an attack on a fishing boat. Based on experience, he noted that one has to control the boat leaving one to execute the attack.
“One time we hearing, two pirates attack them and they were asleep and then the next time we hearing that they were eating or just finish eating. Then another thing that we are hearing is that when the pirates push them overboard he was swimming behind them and one of them is so old and shaky but he and the other one can reach ashore but my son cannot reach shore. He is more young and more swift and he is the captain of the boat,” the distraught father lamented.
Meanwhile, at about 15:30h Ramdial’s body was discovered along the Tain Foreshore. A post-mortem is expected to be performed on the body. The boat was found at Rose Hall foreshore.
The grieving father is calling for a thorough investigation. (Andrew Carmichael)