By Leon Norville
The families of the two fishermen who went missing at sea on June 23, are still holding out hope that the men will soon be found.
Recently the family held a candlelight vigil for the men, forty-nine-year-old Lester Small of St Johnson’s Village, and fifty-six-year-old Leon Sears of Cashew Hill, at Parham fishing wharf to share in the memories of the men and also encourage each other with hope that the men are found alive and well.
Speaking with Lorriane Brusch, cousin of Leon Sears, she shared that it is still awfully hard for her to come to grips with the ordeal, especially on Sundays which was the day of the week she would talk to Sears for hours on the phone. Something she misses very much. “I would still call his number, two, three, four times a week hoping to hear his voice on the other side. The hardest part is knowing that I will never see my best friend again,” she said.
To date, the families still feel that the Antigua and Barbuda Defense Coast Guard (ABD CG) could have done more in assisting in the effort to locate the missing men.
Relatives of the men who are living abroad are praying for their safe return, and they do check for updates from family members on any bit of information that they can use to help bring some measure of comfort.
The men left Parham Harbour aboard the fishing vessel, (F/V) EDEN, with plans to return home the next day on June 24, following a routine fishing trip.
They have not been seen or heard from since.
Days later, a red portable gas tank that belonged to the boat that the men were on was found floating in waters some ten miles off Boon’s Point.
The families are asking the public to keep them in their prayers, since they have not given up hope, never mind the fact that the men have been missing for the last 25 days.
The ABD CG is also asking the public and mariners at sea to reach out to their base with any information and leads that may assist them at this time.
The numbers to call are 462-3206 / 462-2843 / 462-2841 / 462- 0671, or via VHF channel 16 or 26.