by Linda Straker
- Fishermen picked up about 80 nautical miles south of Dominican Republic on Saturday
- Families told men were going to Carriacou
- Men encountered difficulty in St Vincent and the Grenadines waters
The United States Coast Guard has rescued 2 Grenadian fishermen who have been missing at sea for over 3 weeks. They are both currently housed at the US Dominican Republic Naval Base Quarantine Field Hospital.
A news release from the Community Relations Department of the Royal Grenada Police Force said that the men, Kevin Phillip, 26 years, Fisherman of La Poterie, St Andrew, and Shabba Richardson, 37 years of Paradise, St Andrew were picked up about 80 nautical miles south of the Dominican Republic on Saturday, 23 May 2020.
“Phillip and Richardson left Grenada during the first week in May with a fishing vessel en route to Carriacou and reportedly ran into difficulties with their boat engine. They were last heard from on 6 May,” said the release which did not provide details about the rescue nor the present medical condition of the men who left Grenada in the height of the curfew after government announced an easing of internal border control.
It is understood that the men told their families that they were going to Carriacou, but when the boat started encountering problems one family was informed that the boat was in St Vincent and the Grenadines waters.
The Vincentian Coast Guard started a search and rescue operations, but was tight-lipped about disclosing the information when the media enquired. “I am not at liberty to release such information at this time,” was the response from a coast guard official when inquiries were made on 16 May 2020.
Both men are well known to law enforcement because they are presently on bail awaiting trial of drug-related matters in the court. Besides drug-related offences, Richardson’s charges include Fraud by False Pretence.
Among Phillip’s pending matters is a charge of Trafficking in a Controlled Drug and Importing a Controlled Drug. According to a news release issued by police in January, he was apprehended after a blue fishing boat, in which he was the lone occupant, was intercepted outside the waters of Hillsborough about 11:30 pm on Tuesday, 7 January 2020, with 746 pounds of cannabis in the boat.