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It is officially one week since three fishermen left Gros Islet on a fishing expedition, in the direction of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
Since then, only one has returned after being rescued by a ferry. Two others remain missing.
Despite numerous surface searches by the Saint Lucia marine police and aerial support from Curacao, Martinique and the Regional Security System (RSS) for three days, the missing men have yet to be found.
The search was officially suspended on Thursday afternoon, May 2. However, Commander of the Saint Lucia marine unit, Seargent Finley Leonce, told St. Lucia News Online that the search may resume if the authorities get “new information”.
“If we receive new information we will reactivate the search,” Leonce told St. Lucia News Online on Sunday.
He said the RSS, Dutch and French teams conducted thorough searches from Tuesday, April 30 until May 2, but have yielded nothing.
Reports are that the three men left Saint Lucia around 10 p.m. on Monday, April 29 and their vessel developed mechanical problems and overturned due to bad weather conditions around 1 a.m. on Tuesday, April 30.
Benjamin Emmanuel, alias ‘Benji, a 30-year-old resident of Marigot was rescued by a L’Express des Iles ferry on Tuesday, April 30 around 4 p.m. and admitted to Victoria Hospital about one hour later.
The two others — 31-year-old Lance Robert Gerald of The Gulf in Ciceron, Castries, and Sherwin ‘CJ’ Henry, who is believed to be in his 20s — are still missing.
It is alleged that both men were wearing life jackets but this has not been officially confirmed. There are reports that the men were able to hang onto items from the capsized vessel.
Relatives of Gerald, a father of two children, said they believe he is still alive and are disappointed that the searches have already been suspended.
Brother Gill Williams said: “We’re only asking that they don’t give up on the search because we have hope for Lance and CJ (Sherwin Henry), and if our heroes give up then we feel like we have no hope and hope is what’s keeping us going.”
Sister Gillianna Jallim said: “We’re not sure what to do since the search was stopped. And it hurts because everyone is talking about it, asking questions. They gave up so easily, everybody mad at them.”