May 22, 2024

Two Saô Tomē and Principe fishermen rescued in Bayelsa

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Two Saô Tomē and Principe fishermen rescued in Bayelsa

… Rescuees will soon be reunited with their families – Police

Godstime Simon, Yenagoa

Two fishermen, Antonio Sabino and Osorio Pires from Neves in Saô Tomē and Principe were lost in the Atlantic Ocean while fishing. They were lost for five days before they were rescued in Brass Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, South-South, Nigeria.

The fishermen, who speak Portuguese, were rescued by a trawler fishing in the Gulf of Guinea and handed over to fishermen from Okpoama-Brass who took them ashore.

The fishermen have been handed over to the Divisional Police Officer, Okpoama Division of the Nigeria Police Force, CSP Ebimiesigha Bebetu.

Chairman of the Okpoama Kingdom Security Committee, Chief Munalayefa William-Sinte, said the highly malnourished men were clothed and fed before they were handed over to the police for necessary actions.

He said the fishermen who were visibly worried were calmed with sign language before they were handed over to the police as it was impossible to communicate with them because of the language barrier.

Chief Sinte also said that a fisherman from Ilaje in Ondo State but a resident in Okpoama had been missing for over a week, adding that his colleagues had been searching the ocean for days.

In 2019, the bodies of two male fishermen at an advanced stage of decomposition were found in a fishing boat that drifted ashore in Okpoama from Saọ̄ Tomē and Principe.

The police authorities in Bayelsa State confirmed the rescue and said the Force was making a concerted effort to reunite the rescuees with their families.

Spokesman for the police command Asinim Butswat said the Divisional Police Officer of Okpoama Division, Brass LGA, Bayelsa State, had taken custody of two fishermen who were rescued by a Captain of a fishing trawler at 50 nautical miles off the Atlantic Ocean on July 2, 2023.

He stated that the two fishermen, Antonio Sabino, aged 52 and Osorio Pires, 41, got lost in the Atlantic Ocean for five days before being rescued.

Butswat said the police authorities had established contact with a Coast Guard Officer from Saô Tomē and Principe in a bid to reunite them with their families.

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