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Two fishermen in Venezuela


Two fishermen in Venezuela

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Two Barbadian fishermen who were missing at sea have been found.

The Barbados Coast Guard confirmed that the vessel Pearlita was found in Venezuelan waters and two men believed to be Kurt Watson and Michael Hawkesworth were rescued by Venezuelan authorities and taken for medical attention.

Coast Guard Operations Officer Sub Lieutenant Alexander Kellman said they received information about 11 p.m. Wednesday night from Venezuelan authorities that the Pearlita had been discovered six hours earlier. It had apparently run aground in an area called Sebastopol. Two men who were rescued are with the Venezuelan Coast Guard.

According to Kellman, the Barbados Coast Guard is monitoring the situation and awaiting word as the Venezuelan authorities will attempt to refloat the vessel.

There is no confirmation as to when the two men or the boat will be returned to the island. Kellman said the Venezuelan authorities would be conducting investigations why the Pearlita and its crew were in the area.

Principal Fisheries Assistant Philip Jackman said he had no official confirmation from the Coastt Guard at the time he was contacted. However, he said, when they were informed of a rescue, the normal procedure would be for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to liaise with authorities in the territory where the rescue had taken place.

Meanwhile, June Haynes is thankful her prayers were answered and that her adoptive brother Hawkesworth and Watson were rescued.

“We lifted them up in church last night (Wednesday) and I thank God, “ said Haynes.

Watson and Hawkesworth left for a fishing trip onboard the Pearlita on March 26 and sent out an appeal for help about a week later. Up to Wednesday, there was no word of the two men and sisters June and Marlene Haynes were becoming increasingly anxious.

When contacted, caretaker of the Pearlita, Randolph Blackman, said, “of course I am happy. You don’t have to say that twice”. He said attempts were being made to have them flown in by air. (KG)