Two fisherman from Neves in SaôTom and Principe who had been adrift in the Atlantic Ocean for five days have been rescued in Bayelsa State’s Brass Council Area.
The fishermen, Antonio Sabino, 51, and Osorio Pires, 41, were rescued by a trawler fishing in the Gulf of Guinea on Sunday, July 2, 2023, and given over to Okpoama-Brass fisherman who brought them ashore.
The two fisherman have been handed over to Ebimiesigha Bebetu, Divisional Police Officer, Okpoama Division, Nigeria Police Force.
According to Chief Munalayefa William-Sinte, Chairman of the Okpoama Kingdom Security Committee, the males who appear underweight were clothed and fed before being handed over to the police for further action.
He stated that the fisherman, who were visibly anxious, were calmed down through sign language before being handed over to the police because communication with them was impossible due to the language barrier.
Chief Sinte also told journalists that a fisherman from Ilaje, Ondo State, who lives in Okpoama, has been missing for more than a week, and that his colleagues have been combing the seas for days.
In 2019, the bodies of two male fishermen were discovered in an advanced stage of decomposition aboard a fishing boat that had drifted ashore in Okpoama from Sa Tom and Principe.
According to Asinim Butswat, spokesman for the Bayelsa Police Command, who confirmed the development in a statement on Monday, July 3, 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 50 nautical miles off the Atlantic Ocean.
He stated that police had made touch with a coast guard officer from Saô Tom and Principe and are working hard to reunite them with their families.