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One dead, three missing

Thursday, February 8, 2018
Two-boat crash off Los Iros Beach
Edward Williams

When Allan Alexander heard that his brother Sheldon Guerra and neighbours had been injured in a boating accident, he rushed to the Los Iros Beach. But as he ran up to the mangled wreck, he realised was too late as Guerra had already died.

Up to yesterday, the T&T Coast Guard was searching for three other people at sea while three others were warded in serious condition at the San Fernando General Hospital.

A report stated that around 8.20 pm Tuesday, Erin police were informed of an incident at the Los Iros Beach.

Cpl Harripersad and other officers met with Alexander, who told them that Guerra and several other people were aboard his pirogue, “Lisa,” on a trip off the coast of Los Iros to retrieve a fishing net when another boat collided with them.

At the beach yesterday, the T&T Guardian learned that Guerra, 40, of Carapal Road, Los Iros, had gone out to sea around 7 pm with Edward Williams, 42, of Charmaine Village, Buenos Aires, Kibew Simon, 31, of Erin Beach Road and Keyala Primus, 24, of Los Iros Beach Road.

Williams’ stepdaughter Christine Balfour said while they were retrieving the net the other boat, which was being chased, crashed into “Lisa.”

It is believed Guerra was seated at the point of impact. Primus and Williams were thrown out the boat while Simon remained on board.

On the other boat was Edmund “Blues” Charles, 40, of La Union Road, Joel Seerattan, of Erin, Jerome Mitchell, of Guayaguayare and Kel Hagley, 25, of Diego Martin.

All the occupants of that boat were also thrown overboard by the impact. Simon dived into the water and gathered Guerra, Primus, Seerattan and Mitchell and lifted them onto the damaged Lisa.

In the dark of night, however, Williams, Edmund and Hagley could not be seen.

With water rushing into the boat, Simon steered it to shore where Primus and Mitchell were carried into a car and taken to the Siparia District Health Facility (SDHF). While at the SDHF, police learned that Seerattan was found grimacing at the beach facility and he was taken for medical treatment via an ambulance. Guerra, who appeared to suffer a broken neck, shoulder and leg, was taken to the Forensic Science Centre, St James, for an autopsy.

Guerra, a father of a six-year-old girl, was a security guard at a Palo Seco supermarket, but according to Alexander, fishing was his life. He said his brother was a hard worker and because he loved fishing he would go to sea any chance he got.

Balfour said Simon was trying to balance the boat and when he saw the other boat speeding into them. She said he shouted “boat” but there wasn’t enough time to move. She said Williams was struck in the chest before he was thrown in the water. Although he was a good swimmer, she had little faith he would return alive.

“I don’t really think he is alive. We are hoping for the best, but from the description we got of the accident, I don’t really think he survived,” Balfour said.

Fellow fishermen continued searching yesterday and even retrieved the catch the men went to get.


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