Jun 11, 2009 News
Members of the Guyana Defence Force Coast Guard traded gunshots with the occupants of a speedboat coming from neighbouring Venezuela yesterday, shortly after rescuing two Guyanese fishing crews.
The shootout took place in the vicinity of Morawhanna, in the Northwest District.
There were no reports of injuries.
The speedboat made a hasty retreat in the direction of Venezuela.
A statement from army headquarters reported that following a report from the police that two Guyanese fishing boats had been hijacked off Waini Point, North West District, on Tuesday, the Guyana Defence Force Coast Guard immediately launched a patrol which resulted in the recovery of the two vessels.
According to the army, the report was made at 20:00 hours and the patrol set out half an hour later.
Searches in the Waini Point area, which lasted until midnight, turned up nothing substantial, so the patrol was resumed yesterday morning.
The hijacked fishing vessels and their occupants were found drifting in the vicinity of Shell Beach.
As the Coast Guard patrol was towing the vessels to Morawhanna, a speedboat was observed to be approaching from Venezuela.
According to the army, the Coast Guard attempted to intercept it and was fired upon by the occupants of the boat.
The Coast Guard returned fire while pursuing the speedboat which quickly headed back towards Venezuela.
The Coast Guard had intensified its operating in the Northwest District following the disappearance of four fishermen from Unity Village, Mahaica, East Coast Demerara almost two weeks ago.
Searches by the Coast Guard led to the recovery of the bodies of two of the fishermen, Basdeo and Ramlall Ramphal at the mouth of the Moruca River.
The two other bodies, those of boat captain Michael Ramlochan and 14-year-old Peter Torres, have not been recovered.
While the real reason for the mishap has not yet been ascertained, hijacking has not been ruled out.
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