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(SNO) – The girlfriend of a Vieux-Fort fisherman who perished at sea along with his fishing partner about four months ago, has said she is in dire need of financial assistance.
Leah Mingo, a citizen of the Commonwealth of Dominica, said after Hurricane Maria destroyed her home, she moved to Saint Lucia in September 2017 to live with her boyfriend, Jermain Edward.
“I lost everything back home, so my boyfriend decided to take me to Saint Lucia,” Mingo told St. Lucia News Online in an interview this week.
However, her situation took a turn for the worse after her 33-year-old boyfriend, and his fishing companion, 42-year-old Mervin Gilbert, were found dead by the U.S. Coast Guard in their vessel almost three weeks after they left Saint Lucia.
Their vessel was discovered about 76 nautical miles off the coast off Puerto Rico. They had left Saint Lucia on March 1.
Without her sole breadwinner, Mingo’s financial situation has become desperate. She has been moving from one place to the other.
According to Mingo, she was offered temporary shelter by a friend. At present, she occupies a house at Westall Group, Vieux-Fort with her four children, the youngest being a two-month-old.
“My situation is stressful…,” Mingo said.
“We got rescued for a while, but I don’t know how long we will be living there,” she said, adding that her biggest concern is having a more permanent roof over her head.
Mingo went on to disclose that sometimes she gets negative comments from certain individuals, which is not helping her situation. She noted that nationals from other countries are always welcomed in Dominica.
There has been some positive news, however.
Last Saturday, the Vieux-Fort South Constituency Council held a fundraising drive for the families of the two fishermen. And a family member of one of the deceased has promised to build a home for Mingo in Vieux-Fort.
She expressed gratitude to all the persons who have been assisting her, particularly the Vieux-Fort South Constituency Council, for the fundraiser.
“A lot of people have supported us. Some has offered us counseling and comfort,” she said.
Anyone who is willing to assist her can do so by calling (767) 617-1600.