Bodies of Vieux-Fort fishermen still in Puerto Rico

 By Kingsley Emmanuel

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42-year-old boat captain Mervin Gilbert and 33-year-old Jermaine Edward

(SNO) – The bodies of the two Vieux-Fort fishermen who perished at sea a few months ago, and were found adrift off the coast of Puerto Rico, are still in that country.

The situation has frustrated family members who say they have given up on the matter, as it relates to having the bodies returned to St. Lucia.

“Too much red tape, I have given up on the whole thing…” a family member, who spoke to this reporter on condition of anonymity, said.

Jermain Edward, 33, and boat captain Mervin Gilbert,42, left the Vieux-Fort Fishing Port sometime after 7 a.m. on March 1 on a fishing expedition and about a month later their lifeless bodies were found by the US Coast Guard, 76 nautical miles off the coast of Puerto Rico.

Just over a month ago, a family member of one of the deceased, who represented both families, went to Puerto Rico to identify the bodies.

His trip was financed by the Government of St. Lucia.

According to the family member, the authorities in Puerto Rico wanted to be certain that the bodies were those of the fishermen, adding that he first had to give them a physical description of the bodies.

“I even had to tell them which part of their bodies tattoos are…” the family member said.

He said the bodies will be cremated and the ashes sent to St. Lucia, adding that the process is a very complex one.

“When they {Puerto Rican authorities) checked, they realized my description of the bodies were correct, but due to protocol, they say they have to carry out a DNA test on the bodies…” the family member said.

He said the DNA test will be done in St. Lucia by the Puerto Rican authorities.

“Right now we have no idea when the DNA test will be done and the bodies cremated…,” the family member added.

A few months ago, a memorial service for the fishermen was held in Vieux-Fort.

 

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8 comments

  1. The government has done everything they could do, their body was so badly decompose, the airline didn't want to take the chance to carry them.

    (7)(1)
    • Not true at all!!! The airlines carry dangerous goods , contagious diseases including viruses and other corrosive chemicals to name a few in a highly controlled environment. As long as the correct established procedure are followed to transport the human remains, the Airlines will transport.

      (1)(2)
  2. Very sad situation, what does puerto rico want with two dead people.Give up the bodies so that the family can have closure. The government of St.Lucia needs to get involve and help the family get through the red tape.

    (1)(3)
  3. What else you want the government to do

    (6)(5)
  4. Dec dec you cah read..you eh see where it said the government paid for the trip

    (13)(2)
  5. It is sowrong to see two st Lucia National went fishing and got Lost at Sea and the government wouldn't do anything about it

    (5)(16)

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