Vessel feared sunk in Venezuelan waters – 4 dead, 20 missing

A coast guard interceptor vessel and larger patrol boat. Photo by Sureash Cholai
A coast guard interceptor vessel and larger patrol boat. Photo by Sureash Cholai

THE Guardia Nacional and the TT Coast Guard were searching on Sunday in territorial waters off Venezuela and Trinidad respectively, after a vessel which left Trinidad on Friday did not arrive at port and is believed to have sunk.

A release on Sunday from the TT Coast Guard said the vessel left with 25 people on board en route to the Delta region of Venezuela. When it did not arrive, the Venezuelan Guardia Nacional contacted the Coast Guard.

Since then, the release said, four bodies were reportedly found in Venezuelan waters, one person was rescued and 20 others remain unaccounted for.

The TT Coast Guard dispatched one of its boats which was already on marine patrol to join in search and rescue operations.

The Coast Guard release, signed by public affairs officer Lt Kerron Valere, said it remains in communication with its Venezuelan counterparts in an attempt to find survivors. Searches continue in both TT and Venezuelan territorial waters.

Initial reports are that those still unaccounted for are missing in Venezuela's waters, so the  Coast Guard will continue to co-operate with the Venezuelan authorities in accordance with international conventions for the safety of life at sea (SOLAS) and international conventions on maritime search and rescue.

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