Two fishermen from Neves in SaôTomē and Principe, who were allegedly lost in the Atlantic Ocean for five days, have been rescued in the Brass Council Area of Bayelsa State, Nigeria.
The fishermen, Antonio Sabino, and Osorio Pires were said to have been rescued by a trawler fishing in the Gulf of Guinea and handed over to fishermen from Okpoama-Brass who took them ashore. The fishermen were handed over to the Divisional Police Officer, Okpoama Division of the Nigeria Police Force, CSP Ebimiesigha Bebetu.
According to the Chairman of the Okpoama Kingdom Security Committee, Chief Munalayefa William-Sinte, the highly malnourished men were clothed and fed before they were handed over to the police for necessary action. He said the Portuguese-speaking fishermen, who were visibly worried, were demonstrating with sign language before they were handed over to the police, as it appears impossible to communicate with them because of the language barrier.
Chief Sinte also informed Daily Post that a fisherman from Ilaje in Ondo State but resident in Okpoama has been missing for over a week, adding that his colleagues have been searching the ocean for days.
In 2019, bodies of two male fishermen at an advanced stage decomposition were found in a fishing boat that drifted ashore in Okpoama from Saọ̄ Tomē and Principe.
Confirming the incident, the Bayelsa State Police Command, said the Divisional Police Officer of Okpoama Division, Brass Local Government Area, Bayelsa State, has taken custody of two fishermen who were rescued by a captain of a fishing trawler at 50 nautical miles off the Atlantic Ocean, on 2 July 2023.
The statement issued on Monday to Daily Post, through the Police Public Relations Officer, SP Asinim Butswat, said “The two fishermen, Antonio Sabino ‘m’ 52 years and Osorio Pires ‘m’ 41 years from Neves in SaôTomē and Principe got lost in the Atlantic Ocean for five days before being rescued by a Captain of a fishing trawler.”
The Police authorities have established contact with a coast guard officer from Saô Tomē and Principe and are making concerted effort to reunite them with their families.
Source: Daily Post