Many years ago, I met a fisherman and offered him a lift in my vehicle. He was not going too far and I thought that he could do with a ride.
He refused my offer. He said that driving in motor vehicles in those days was extremely dangerous since you could easily meet in an accident.
I found his answer strange since he himself risked his life every morning when he went out to sea to catch his fish.
I raised this with him, asking whether he did not think that he was exaggerating things, considering that he was at the mercy of the seas in his daily work.
He replied that there were far few accidents at sea than on the roads and he had a better chance of being injured in a motor vehicle accident than having his boat run adrift in the seas.
He has a point. The probability of having an accident at sea is far less than having an accident on one of our roadways and therefore it is safe to assume that our seas are safer than our roads.
But are they? For a long time now, dating back to the seventies, but especially frequent in recent times, the country’s fisher folk have been subject to attacks by pirates.
These watery bandits are after the loot that poor fishermen have. They are after the boat engines, the nets and the catch. And it seems as if they are now intensifying their attacks. Recently, pirates went on a rampage and attacked a number of fishing vessels, brutalizing the crew members and leaving them adrift.
Persons have lost their lives during pirate attacks.
After the most recent rampage, a vessel went out to rescue one of their friends. The rescue crew going out to try to find their missing colleagues encountered difficulties and are now feared to have drowned.
It is a double whammy. Tragedy has piled upon tragedy. All of the fishermen who were originally the victims of pirate attacks have been rescued, but at least four persons who went in search of one of the attacked vessels and its staff are now dead. The latest word is that the bodies of two of these would- be -rescuers have been washed ashore.
The pirates responsible for the attacks will eventually be caught. They are not likely to be free for more than a few months. This is how it always plays out. The pirates make their strike and hide for a few months and then eventually they either make a mistake or are captured because of diligent police work.
The pirates who went on a rampage in the Essequibo will be no different. The law will catch up with them.
There used to be a time when there were some dangerous criminals holed up in Buxton. They believed also that they were invincible. They are now all dead.
The law is going to catch up with those vicious and heartless pirates. They will run but for how long? Eventually they will be caught and face the law. But look at the hurt and pain that they have caused?
A fishing crew learns that his fellow fisher folk are missing. He does the only thing that a friend does. He goes out in search of his fellow fishers. That is what heroism is made of.
There are many people who would not risk their life and limb, especially knowing that the pirates are still at large, to go and search for the missing fishermen. But these guys did. Unfortunately, it seems as if they suffered a mishap and now the worst is feared.
What justice is then going to be done when the pirates are caught? Not only did they rob a number of vessels but now they have vicariously caused the death of innocent would -be- rescuers.
There have been all manner of calls for the government to do something. But piracy is an old problem, and the government can do very little to protect fisherfolk, while they are at sea.
Forget about the Coastguard. Forget about the use of Cessna planes. Forget about helicopters. Forget about shotguns for fishermen. These will not produce results.
The sea bandits are going to be caught but not at sea. They are going to be caught on land. Somebody has to be purchasing the fish and the nets and the engines. Those persons should examine their conscience and ask whether they want to continue to contribute to piracy and to the deaths that it causes.
The police will catch the pirates. They always do eventually but it seems as if the incentives are so great that other pirates emerge after some would have been caught. The benefits are so great and the possibility of being caught immediately is so low that pirates are willing to take a chance.
In the meantime, the pirates have left many families in great distress and one can only hope that when these bandits are caught that they will face the full force of the law.
Calls to do something about piracy will ring hollow if they are made on the basis of calling for the pirates to be caught in the act.
The real action against the pirates has to take place on land, which as we know is far more dangerous than at high seas.
Jul 25, 2021Kaieteur News – Former national youth player Devon Ramnauth hit a responsible, unbeaten 48 to lead Essequibo Coast Cricket Club to a comfortable seven-wicket win over Bacchus Ruff Ryder last...
Jul 25, 2021
Jul 25, 2021
Jul 25, 2021
Jul 25, 2021
Jul 25, 2021
Kaieteur News – You don’t know what will be your station in later life. But if I fall sick, and I have no one on... more
Freedom of speech is our core value at Kaieteur News. If the letter/e-mail you sent was not published, and you believe that its contents were not libellous, let us know, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]