(SNO) – The docking of a leisure vessel from Barbados at the Vieux-Fort Fishing Port since last Friday, due to engine problems at sea, causes much inconvenience to fisherfolks of Vieux-Fort, who say it also raises certain issues.
The vessel Seareina was towed to the port by a local fishing vessel after it experienced engine problems.
According to one of the two men who were on board the vessel at the time, they were on a fishing expedition when they experienced distress. He added that they are currently trying to repair the engine.
However, according to the concerned fisherfolks, apart from the inconvenience it causes them, it also reminds them of the harrowing experience they encounter when they find themselves in Barbados under similar circumstances.
One fisherman recalled that once his boat encountered engine problems at sea and he found himself in Barbados, where he was treated like a criminal.
“We had to sleep on the hard floor in the cell and they would not allow a phone call,” the fisherman told this reporter.
A number of fishermen said they have had similar experiences in Barbados and St. Vincent after their boats encountered engine problems at sea.
“The always treat us like drug dealers,” another fisherman said, adding that in St. Lucia, they are treated with respect.
As it relates to the inconvenience the fishing vessels causes them, they say it is in their landing area where they load and unload fishes and other materials.
The Fisheries Department was reportedly only made aware of the situation today, Tuesday, July 31, 2018.