December 4, 2023

TNN Newspaper

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How Ocean Waves Blew Sao Tome Fishermen Into Sylva’s Village *Witness Narrates How Others Died in 2020 in Same Area

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About three years after a fishing trawler owned and operated by fisher folks from Sao Tome and Principe capsized on the Atlantic Ocean and two bodies of the fishermen found in Okpoama, the Bayelsa State home town of the immediate past minister of state for petroleum resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, two other natives of that country have found themselves in a similar situation.

But this time, the fishermen were able to survive, after they were rescued by the captain of another fishing trawler, some 50 nautical miles off the Atlantic.

In 2020, two men who were fishing on the Atlantic got drowned and their bodies were swept off the ocean to the coast of Okpoma. Their remains were found and buried by  fishermen in the community.


TNN learnt on Monday that the lucky fishermen- Antonio Sabino,52 and Osorio Pires, 41- were currently with the police on protective custody. Police image maker said in a statement on Monday that efforts were being made to reunite them with their families.

A native of Okpoama told TNN that the major issue has been the language barrier, as the fishermen are and speak Portuguese. The services of an interpreter are required to get information from them, according to the source.

The source said the fishermen were usually on the Atlantic Ocean “without a compass and sometimes would go to fishing and could encounter a violent storm that would toss them beyond comprehension, taking them deep into the gulf.”

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