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#374737 - 04/27/10 09:15 AM 2 Jamaican Fishermen Rescued At Sea After 36 Days
Marty Offline
This morning when the Hyde Shipping vessel NV Caribe pulled into the Port of Belize it carried a most unexpected cargo: two Jamaican Fishermen who had been lost at sea for 31 days. They are Anthony Hibbert and Jason Noble – two Jamaican commercial Fishermen who went missing on March 25 after they set out from the south end of Jamaica in a fishing vessel called “Gentle Breeze” which lost its engine. It was originally a party of five fishermen and the other three did not make it – they died at sea during the long period of being adrift.

The Caribe found them in Mexican territorial waters – 50 miles northeast of Belize - yesterday at around noon as the cargo ship was making its way into Belizean waters. They had been adrift for over a month and how Noble and Hibbert survived is sure to be an incredible story. But they are not quite in condition to tell it yet. They are currently receiving medical attention with an emphasis on re-hydration. Reports are that they are conscious and speaking.

After being brought in on the cargo vessel, the Coast Guard took them to the Price Barracks and this evening, they were transferred to the KHMH. They are now in the hands of the Immigration Department and Director Gareth Murillo confirmed that they are treating it as a humanitarian matter and his department is now trying to assist the men to get back home. He says the Department has duly notified the Jamaican consular representative in Belize.

A representative from the Jamaican Coast Guard confirmed to us this evening that the news that two survived and three perished has already been broadcast on radio stations there. They also confirmed that the Jamaica Coast Guard gave up the search on April second.

We note that the Jamaican coast guard says they went missing on the 25th, March while Belizean authorities have information which says they went missing on the 21st. If the Belizean figure is correct, they would have been at sea for 36, not 31 days.

Channel 7

#374738 - 04/27/10 09:15 AM Re: 2 Jamaican Fishermen Rescued At Sea After 36 Days [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Lost at sea for 36, 2 Jamaican fishermen found alive

There’s an emotional story of survival tonight involving two Jamaican fishermen who are both lucky to be alive after thirty-six days of being lost on high seas. The boat they were fishing in, Gentle Breeze, had been reported missing from Old Harbor Bay in Jamaica since March twenty-first and was not found until April twenty-fifth. The story of their ordeal is one of hope in the face of absolute despair when the vessel that thirty-six year old Anthony Hibberd and his twenty-five year old colleague Jason Noble were fishing in suffered engine failure after breaking free of a larger vessel it was attached to. The crew of five spent a month and five days adrift without food and water, was reduced to two castaways following the deaths of the boat’s captain and two crewmen. Anthony Hibberd recounted the harrowing experience with News Five.

Anthony Hibberd, Rescued Jamaican Fisherman

“The twenty-first when we ah come in—we ah come in from the twentieth and di first engine mash up from ten o’clock inna di night and di second one mash up ten o’clock di next morning, di twenty-second. no oil inna di engine dem and we tell di captain we need fi go back dah di boat but divine grace, him can’t fix dem. At di time dem ah work pan dem straight inna di night and di engine dem mash up. So we start drift from di twenty-second and three man die, left two of us by di ship. Thirty-six days we spend pan di sea. We feed off ah marass, anything we can eat, sea water cause we neva have any food. Three day alone we had food for.”

Jason Noble, Rescued Jamaican Fisherman

“It’s like dead and alive you know, it was a hard suffering yoh know. Mi neva been through something like dat inna mi life. Mi neva expect something like dat. It was good and normal and everything was alright until di next engine mash up. Drift everyday yoh feel like yoh ah go dead and every time yoh wake up inna di morning yoh feel like yoh have to give thanks to God cause yoh survive and yoh still have life. Every day yoh get up and everything yoh ah si sea. ketch bird fi eat, go overboard like deep and mi si wah shark by di boat. Mi shoot fish fi survive, wi eat marrass. First time mi eva three man dead side ah, good friend mi know from ages ah fishing wid fi dem dead side ah mi. we have fi throw dem overboard.”

Isani Cayetano

“Have you had any form of communication with your family back home in Jamaica since being rescued and brought to Belize?”

Jason Noble

“No me noh get no communication from Belize but on di ship we get a lot of communication wid all ah mi family dem, a lot ah mi friend and other people cause pan di ship dem have a phone and dehn let we communicate wid di rest ah people dem. Mi family and everybody call pan di ship and we talk to everybody and get di status and whatever ah go on.”

Isani Cayetano

“Were you able to inform the family of the three dead men of their ordeal at sea?”

Jason Noble

“No, mi neva get di chance fi do dat cause me neva get no connection to none of them.”

The dead fishermen could not be identified by their names as they were only known to their peers by their aliases. They are Katoo, Clement and Feron.

Channel 5

#374833 - 04/28/10 09:34 AM Re: 2 Jamaican Fishermen Rescued At Sea After 36 Days [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

A Tale of Survival

36 days – that’s how long Jamaican fishermen 35-year-old Anthony Hibbert, and 25-year-old Jason Noble spent adrift at sea. During that time, they watched three of their mates die from hunger and dehydration and then had to throw their decomposing bodies overboard. But they survived – and a part of that is because the boat they were on, the 33-foot Gentle Breeze – was a fully equipped fishing vessel – including a sheltered area with beds, and a stove with an auto light. They also had a speargun – and both are divers. But out on the high seas for over a month with no provisions – none of that really counts – which was proved by the fact that the three others perished.

So why did these two men survive? Speaking from the BDF Hospital at Price Barracks, they told us they were willing to eat some things that the others simply wouldn’t.

Anthony Hibbert
“We drift from Peter Bank to near to Mexico when the boat find we and carry come to Belize. It's five ah we and three died. We eat a lot of things to survive. Anything we can swallow, we eat. Drink sea water, drink morass, all type ah tings. Beg fi di rain fi fall [to] get some water fi drink. All when a man just dead, right there some rain fall then we still have to drink di wata fi survive because we say there's life, there's hopes.”

Jules Vasquez, Reporting
"When you see your sea mates dying, how could you not just despair, lose hope and say, ‘Man, we will die too?"

Anthony Hibbert
"Well, I tell dem [to] eat what I eat, but dem no want eat it. Because I eat the morass and I drink di sea water.”

Jules Vasquez, Reporting
"So they didn’t want to eat the morass?"

Anthony Hibbert
"No dem say dem naa eat it. Dem stomach cyaan tek it.”

Jules Vasquez, Reporting
“And where was the morass accumulating?”

Anthony Hibbert
“On the boat bottom. So we go over board eena di deep and scrape it off. Scrape it off with wi hand and come eena di boat and squeeze out the sea water outa it and try eat it.”

Jason Noble
“Me have to drink my pee-pee. That da di first ting me do to get wata -- drink pee pee eena mi hand. When mi wahn pee pee, me pee pee eena mi hand and drink it, pee pee and drink everytime. First, di man dem ask me how me look so hydrate and dem look so down. And me tell dem. Me no shame fi tell dem…so if they want drink it, they must drink it too.”

“So comes we get to stay alive – powers of Father God. And we pass over more than 100 ship and no ship no stop to we. One ship stop and shine its light by night and one stop and wait till the daylight and den drive way leave we. They nevah do nutting for us.”

Jules Vasquez,
“So these people on the ship saw you all and were aware that you all are stranded? And adrift? And they just moved on?”

Anthony Hibbert
“We dont really know if them see we. but we can see dem [walking on the ship.]”

Jules Vasquez
“But didn’t you all try to shout at them.” Anthony Hibbert
“Yeah, we shout and wave and light fire. Cut di big drum them. Big 50 power. Throw gas eena it and light it. Throw sponge eena light it. Di more we light it, di more dem keep away from we. so we say we don’t know if [it’s fire they are afraid of] or what.”

Jules Vasquez
"How did you all feel when someone finally acknowledged you? What was that moment like?”

Jason Noble
“We just give up eena di boat. We just give up and say we a go dead. We nah going live again and we pray. Because we no have no more food. Him lie down pahn one ah di bed and me lie down pahn one. And di two a we say we naa live again because we no have no way to survive. And we naa have di strength fi go hunt nutting overboard again. Him siddung and lean up and I say bway we naa mek it. And I say bway ih haad but we ah try. And if God say we fi live, then we a live, and if God say we fi dead, da wi destiny, we a go dead.”

“And then we see a ship run cross we...As he say that me try see di ship and me cyaan see it. When we look, da di ship di come [bear down on us.] And then we hear the horn blow…First time we ever hear a ship horn blow from all di ship dem we see. Then we start smile. Me a smile and cry at the same time. Because me feel dead and me feel live. And everyday me see dead, me noh see no life from me left. From the engine bruk down, everyday dead me see and everyday me have to encourage everybody to try to stay alive. And only one man want stay alive and da this man. Everybody else say dem noh a go live and only one man gi mi strgnth and he da di youngest youth.”

And one trio of men eager to hear their story are the Jamaican Fishermen from Punta Gorda. You remember them, right? That’s the group that blew up in the news in December of last year when the arrived in Punta Gorda. Well, they’re still here, and in an amazing coincidence, they are from the same village Rocky Point, Clarendon as Hibbert and Noble! More than that, Derek Osbourne the director of the Jamaican fishing group used to be their boss.

When he heard the news this morning, he headed straight form PG to see them. He told us that he had been following their plight from they were lost in Jamaica – and what a surprise now to meet them here.

Derek Osbourne, Jamaican Fisherman
“That was in Jamaica, and then I saw it on the news and government was searching. Everybody was doing their best to see if they could try to locate it. But the family still hold that they gonna be alive. They are drifting and so forth. So i came to Belize about two weeks ago. And when I heard this morning that they got picked up. I am in PG. so I drove up to seem them because I know that they gonna need some support from somebody who knows them and who can understand basically, identify with them. Because we go way back. They are from my village, from rocky point. They fish for me. In Jamaica, they fish for me. But these two came from my village. I know them. .....These guys, we grow up together with their father and so forth... So it’s good seeing them. Really, really good and its good that its in Belize they showed up, that at least somebody here who already know them who can come and identify them. .... Being Belize, the place where people are warm and friendly, and people reach out to help their Caricom partners so its good.

Jason Noble
“I'm looking forward to getting back home. Because my family's dying to see me. They all tink me die already. And they surprise and feel overwhelmed to know that I am alive and know that I am a survivor.”

Noble and Hibbert say that they will continue to work as fishermen. Strictly speaking they are not fishermen; they are both divers who use spearguns. They both come from families who do the same. They became so weak at the end of their ordeal that they could not go into the sea to spear any fish.

The three who perished are only know by their aliases, Katu, Clement, and Ferron. They have already contacted their own families and one of the deceased men’s families.

Currently, plans have not been finalized to return them to Jamaica.

Channel 7

#374840 - 04/28/10 09:46 AM Re: 2 Jamaican Fishermen Rescued At Sea After 36 Days [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Jamaican fishermen recovering after 36 days lost at sea

jamaica 3On Monday we reported that two of five fishermen from Jamaican had been rescued after they were lost for more than month at sea. Anthony Hibberd and Jason Noble set sail in the Gentle Breeze from the Old Harbor Bay in Jamaica in mid March and were found on Sunday off the coast of Mexico. The boat’s captain and two crew men died on the high seas. There has been a tremendous outpour of support by Belizean and Jamaican authorities in assisting the two survivors to recover fully from their ordeal. They remain hospitalized at the Belize Defense Force Medical Center at Price Barracks. News Five’s Isani Cayetano has been following this story and today spoke to a high level official from Jamaica about the incident.

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

The survivors are being assisted by officials from the Immigration Department and as luck would have it travel arrangements are being taken care of for a safe return to their homeland. The repatriation effort is being led by CEO in Jamaica’s Ministry of Fisheries, Lieutenant Commander Richard Russell.

Richard Russell, CEO Fisheries Division, Jamaica.

richard russel

richard russel

“I met with them this morning some time a little bit after nine and they are in surprisingly high spirits considering the ordeal which they went through for the past thirty-four days, which they have been adrift. And I must give my congratulations to the Belize Defence Force and the authorities of Belize who are taking very good care of these men. They are in very high spirits.”

Isani Cayetano

“Can you speak to us on what type of assistance is being rendered to these men in order to get back to Jamaica safely?

Richard Russell

“I have personally arranged their flight details. I’m supposed to get their e-tickets anytime now and hopefully they will be leaving Belize on Monday evening and the honorary consular of Jamaica to Belize, Mr. Dejon has arranged for their emergency travel documents which they should have in their possession hopefully sometime tomorrow morning.”

Anthony Hibberd

Anthony Hibberd

Both Hibberd and Noble were along with three other men in a fishing vessel when it broke loose from a larger boat it was attached to. During the thirty-four day nightmare three of the men, including the boat’s captain, perished as Gentle Breeze drifted almost eight hundred nautical miles from Jamaica.

Richard Russell

“Hopefully we should have them out of Belize come Monday evening and back to their families in Jamaica who are eagerly awaiting them. I myself have spoken to their families and the owner of the vessel and they’re looking forward to having them back in Jamaica as fast as possible.”

The men were rescued thirty nautical miles from Chinchorro, Mexico by Caribe Navigator, a shipping vessel, piloted by a Jamaican Steven Spence. That freightliner was on a weekly cargo delivery to Belize when it encountered the lost fishermen. Also in Belize are Jamaican soldiers who were participating in Tradewinds 2010 who made sacrifices to help their brethrens.

Richard Russell

jason noble

jason noble

“When I walked into the medical center this morning at the Belize Defence Force, there was a Jamaican soldier there who opted not to go on the tour at the end of this particular stint of duty. I think they went to the Mayan Ruins and he opted to stay with the two Jamaican fishermen, counseling, guiding and giving them their first solid meal in over thirty-five days.”

Coincidentally, Russell is in Belize on a two-week working visit discussing the impact of over-fishing in Caribbean Waters. Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.


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