Relatives of missing sailors: Coast Guard moving ‘dead slow’

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

File photo: A Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard vessel.

RELATIVES of four men, believed trapped inside a sunken vessel off Chaguaramas, are criticising the Coast Guard for moving “dead slow” first in recovery and now retrieval attempts.

One man, who did not want to be identified, said since the incident on April 2 he has had little to no information from the authorities on the rescue attempt and, after some days, the recovery of the bodies.

The man said since the boat sank last week, the Coast Guard has been slow in raising the ship. He said since the boat overturned, he found the authorities to be moving “dead slow” in getting the men.

Seven sailors – Dexter Chance, Devon Celestine, Eric Calliste, Owen Prescott, Quincy Baptiste, Johnel McIntosh and Derrol Small were aboard the MV Fair Chance when it capsized five nautical miles north of Monos Island.

McIntosh, of St Vincent and the Grenadines, and Small, of Grenada, were rescued shortly after. On April 8 the body of a man believed to be that of Baptiste was recovered.

Calliste’s wife Alesha Williams said she just wants her husband’s body so the family can get closure.

She said since the incident she has not been approached by the authorities on what happened to her husband and what is being done to get his body.

“I just want them to retrieve the body and get over it. All the time the boat floating they could have gotten the bodies. They said because it sink it will not be until Thursday that they can pull it up.”

She said by then the state of decomposition will make an open-casket funeral impossible.

Williams said for the past 11 days she has been consuming more panadol for her headaches than food. With the family’s breadwinner gone, she is worried now about how she will survive with her two children.