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Tuesday 16 July 2019
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Mourners return to search for missing men

Survivor Kumar Lalla is seen looking on as the funeral of Ronald Narinesingh took place yesterday
Survivor Kumar Lalla is seen looking on as the funeral of Ronald Narinesingh took place yesterday

SHORTLY after they said their final farewell to 39-year-old Ronald “Ro” Narinesingh on Saturday, mourners returned to the sea in hope of finding the two other friends who have been missing at sea since last week.

Up to yesterday, doubles vendor Siewnarine Gyandass, 51, and Denish Mallo, 23, both of Beaucarro Road in Freeport, remained missing.

“We went back after the funeral. Every day we have private boats looking for them,” said a relative of the Gyandass family.

The three were among six men who, two Sundays ago, went on a fishing expedition when tragedy struck. Their flat-bottomed boat overturned and sunk, leaving them stranded in the Gulf of Paria.

The next day, the bodies of Narinesingh and Gyandass’s brother Chunilal Gyandass, 53, washed ashore at Carli Bay in Couva.

The two others, Kumar Lalla, 49, and Glen “Dave” Prahalad, 32, swam to safety.

On Saturday, scores of mourners attended Narinesingh’s funeral. He worked at the public health department of the Couva/Tabaquite/Talparo Regional Health Authority.

Narinesingh was cremated at the Waterloo cremation site.

Today, Chunilal is expected to be cremated after a service at the family’s home.

Moyo, the wife of the missing brother, expressed concern for the matriarch of the Gyandass family — 74-year-old Etwaria.

“It is really hard to lose two sons one time. The one she is cremating tomorrow (today) is older than my husband. We were really hoping to get my husband.

“That was the whole purpose of waiting so long for the funeral. She did not want to keep the funeral him until she gets the other. She is still praying for something to happen.” Siewnarine is the father of two and grandfather of two. He operated Kyle’s Hot on the Spot doubles at Chaguanas.“The grandchildren are four-years-old and the other, two months. The bigger one keeps asking for him. He used to be with his grandfather every day. We are not giving up on the search. After 30 days, well, I don’t know.”

Last week, Couva South MP Rudranath Indarsingh lamented what he described as the “inhumane response” to the unfolding, week-long tragedy in his constituency.

Indarsingh said the Coast Guard did not respond to the SOS call until near midnight that night.

He said the CG’s response was uncoordinated and lacked any sense of urgency to bring relief to the families of the victims.

He called on the National Security Council headed by Prime Minister Dr Rowley to do a comprehensive review and assessment of the functions and service of the Coast Guard.

Indarsingh, who has been visiting the families, said it was a “very painful and emotional period.”

He said the Coast Guard is supposed to be the “gold-standard” when it came to ocean safety and protection of the country’s maritime boundaries and “should have been coordinating the search with the fishermen of the area who knows the Gulf, perhaps better than anyone else.”

However, Indarsingh said National Security Minister Stuart Young had responded to his request and while he promised more assistance.

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