Two Foreign Fishermen Lost In Atlantic Ocean Rescued In Bayelsa

Upon reaching land, the fishermen were transferred to the custody of CSP Ebimiesigha……

By Nengi Champion

Two fishermen hailing from Neves in Saô Tomé and Principe, who were reportedly lost at sea in the Atlantic Ocean for a span of five days, have been successfully rescued within the Brass Council Area of Bayelsa State, Nigeria.

The individuals, named Antonio Sabino and Osorio Pires, were saved by a trawler engaged in fishing activities in the Gulf of Guinea. Subsequently, they were handed over to fishermen from Okpoama-Brass, who then brought them ashore.

Upon reaching land, the fishermen were transferred to the custody of CSP Ebimiesigha Bebetu, the Divisional Police Officer of Okpoama Division under the Nigeria Police Force.

Chief Munalayefa William-Sinte, the Chairman of the Okpoama Kingdom Security Committee, reported that the men were in a severely malnourished state. They were provided with clothing and food before being handed over to the police for further action.

Due to the language barrier, as they primarily spoke Portuguese, the visibly concerned fishermen had resorted to using sign language to express themselves prior to their handover to the police.

In addition, Chief Sinte informed Waffi TV that a fisherman from Ilaje in Ondo State, who is currently residing in Okpoama, has been missing for over a week. Consequently, his colleagues have been diligently searching the ocean for several days.

It is worth noting that in 2019, the remains of two male fishermen were discovered in a fishing boat that had drifted ashore in Okpoama from Saô Tomé and Principe. The bodies were found in an advanced state of decomposition.

The Bayelsa State Police Command has confirmed the incident, stating that the Divisional Police Officer of Okpoama Division in Brass Local Government Area, Bayelsa State, has taken custody of the two fishermen who were rescued by a fishing trawler captain at a location 50 nautical miles off the Atlantic Ocean on July 2, 2023.

The statement issued on Monday to Waffi TV, through the Police Public Relations Officer, SP Asinim Butswat, said “The two fishermen, Antonio Sabino ‘m’ 52 years and Osorio Pires ‘m’ 41 years from Neves in SaôTomē and Principe got lost in the Atlantic Ocean for five days before being rescued by a Captain of a fishing trawler.”

The police authorities have successfully made contact with a coast guard officer from Saô Tomé and Principe, and they are actively working together to facilitate the reunion of the officer with their family.

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