With tears rolling down her face, the mother of missing boat captain Navindra "Tallman" Garib begged the sea to return him.
Offering flowers, rice, and Hindu prayers, at the Carli Bay port on Wednesday around 5.15 pm, Sandra Garib said between sobs: "Please, please, I want back my son. Lord Father, I want my child."
Two relatives, Leela Jackdeo and Isha Ali, had to help the mother of three out of the water as she was overcome with grief.
Garib, 30, and Parasram "Brain" Boodoo, 42, went missing on Monday night after going out to fish in the Gulf of Paria from Carli Bay.
The next day, Cedros police found the boat they left in washed ashore at Granville. Its engine was under the home of a resident there.
Relatives do not know what happened at sea but believe the missing men may have been attacked.
Carli Bay fishermen on Wednesday afternoon found, off the Point Lisas port, a man’s body believed to be one of the missing men.
As Garib’s mother prayed, other worried relatives were waiting to view the body at the port.
Garib’s father Naresh, and brother Avinash spoke to Newsday at the port. They said Garib turned 30 on Tuesday. He lives at Sunshine Avenue, Carli Bay and does not have any children.
In hindsight, Naresh said his son seemed to have told him goodbye.
"Before Tallman left, he told me to enjoy my life. He never told me something like that before. Thinking about it now, like he was saying he is going," Naresh said.
"Since Monday, I am waiting for him to return. I haven’t been able to eat. We are waiting to be allowed inside the compound to see the body."
Boodoo, of Perseverance Road, is the father of a five-year-old boy and is not a fisherman. He works as an auto painter but has been unemployed for the past months owing to covid19.
He left with the boat captain who lives a short distance away.
"Yesterday (Tuesday), around 6 am, the boat owners went to the bay where Tallman and Brain were expected to return. The owners waited for hours while trying to call the men. They realised something was wrong because one was answering," Boodoo said.
"We do not know if it is his body or not. Right now, no one can say for sure whose body it is."
Both families thanked Couva North MP Ravi Ratiram, Councillor Allan "Taxi" Seepersad and president of the Carli Bay Fishing Association Imtiaz Khan for helping to search for the missing residents.
Seepersad, like the MP, said Thursday marks the second anniversary since seven fishermen from the area were murdered at sea.
"This is very sad. They are from the area, and we live as one. They went out hoping to make a day's work. These are two young fellas who I know from small," the councillor said.
A release on Wednesday afternoon from Ratiram said he, members of the constituency executive, and the Couva/Tabaquite/Talparo Regional Corporation paid for fuel for fishermen to search for Garib and Boodoo.
Ratiram offered condolences to the family of the yet-to-be-identified man.
As MP, he called on the Minister of National Security, Fitzgerald Hinds, to establish a Coast Guard base at the Carli Bay fishing facility as a matter of extreme urgency and priority.
"We cannot allow any more lives to be lost and we are calling for immediate action on this matter."
A statement from the NGO, Fishermen and Friends of the Sea (FFOS), on Tuesday afternoon, referred to the Gulf of Paria as the "Gulf of Pirates," saying it is becoming more and more murderous.
FFOS said the association considered any vessel that approaches within 600 feet as a dangerous threat and an act of violence.
"Fishermen are warned to be on guard and be prepared to flee at any moment. Our fishermen are being murdered at sea," the release said.
"With all the brand new multi-million dollar war ships docked at the Coast Guard base, piracy and murder at sea will continue unabated until we have functional radars."