Two years later…
By Dale Andrews
Ramnarine Jagmohan loved fishing so much that he gave up the relatively easy life in the United Kingdom and returned to Guyana where he was sure that his first love would be satisfied. But that love for the ocean led to him paying the ultimate price.
Jagmohan and two other crew members, Jason Marshall and Captain Mahadeo Ramdeo called Vishaul or ‘Polourie’, went out to sea on January 23, 2008, and today they are still unaccounted for as well as their trawler.
It’s been two years since the Palpos III, a trawler registered to Pritipaul Singh Investments (PSI) disappeared with its crew members. The men were expected to return 21 days after setting sail but didn’t.
After not hearing from them, the men’s families had contacted PSI and also reported the matter to the police and the Ministry of Agriculture.
They even met with Agriculture Minister Robert Persaud and requested further searches for the men. But these also bore no fruit.
Then there were rumours that the vessel was spotted in Trinidad, but checks there confirmed that these were just gossip.
The men’s mysterious disappearance is taking a toll on the families, none moreso than Latchmin Jagmohan, the mother of Ramnarine Jagmohan.
The woman said that her son, who was 46 years old when he disappeared, began fishing since he was in his early 20s.
“He went to England and spent four years. He came back to Guyana and still went back to the job. He does bring in plenty fish and we does share, we never out of dry fish. While in England he had sent for his girlfriend but she wanted to come back home, we didn’t want him to come back,” a tearful Latchmin Jagmohan told Kaieteur News.
According to the woman, her son was not supposed to go to sea when he did since the vessel did not have a full crew.
She explained that there should have been a full crew of five but for some strange reason, the Palpos III set sail with her son, the Captain, Mahadeo Ramdeo, who hails from the East Coast of Demerara and Jason Marshall.
After their time at sea expired, anxiety set in, leading to frantic searches for the multi-million dollar vessel and its crew.
Questions were raised as to what happened to the vessel given that no debris of any sort had been found and relatives said that they were considering all possibilities.
Authorities in neighbouring countries were also informed of the situation.
A reward was even offered but that too did not help much.
At first the fishing company was responsive to the concerns of the crew’s family members but then things went sour.
According to Mrs. Jagmohan, after the second meeting between family members and company officials, one of the crew members’ fathers became angry with what he believed was the callous manner with which the firm was treating the matter.
“He behave bad and they had to put he out (from the compound). Since then they don’t want we to go back there,” Jagmohan told Kaieteur News.
“When we ask he (the owner), he tell we that he lost he boat too. Well, the boat more valuable than the three lives. He say he boat cost millions. How much the three men lives cost?” she asked.
In an earlier interview, shortly after the trawler and crew went missing, Khobindi Sanichara, whose only child was the captain, had said that the issue of whether the owner of the boat was assisting the families financially was raised.
The tragedy is also taking its toll on Jagmohan’s wife and two daughters, ages 12 and 13.
“They taking it on. The smaller one always talking about her father. I try to help out but my husband get stroke and we only collect pension. How much can we do? His wife has already given up,” the missing fisherman’s mother related.
“As a mother I deh on two sides. I does get some dreams. Sometimes I hear he voice but I am almost convinced that he is dead. He woulda call if he was alive. Maybe if we find one ah dem, we will know about the rest,” she stated.
Mrs. Jagmohan said that maybe only legal action against the fishing company would guarantee her son’s two children ‘something for their future”.
Two years later, officials at the company indicated that they are still on the lookout for the missing vessel.
A company official declined to comment further on the matter of whether the fishermen’s families stand to benefit from any insurance claims.
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