Two more bodies from Venezuela’s Delta Amacuro boatwreck have surfaced, bringing to eight the number of people confirmed dead.
Venezuelan media reported yesterday that except for the seven passengers who were rescued by a commercial ship operating in the Boca de Serpiente (Snake’s Mouth) last Thursday, there have been no further survivors.
As the days go by, the chances of anyone else being found alive grow slim.
Venezuela’s Tane Tanae Delta reported yesterday that the eight deaths were confirmed by Tucupita Commissioner Noel Valderrama, who is Secretary of Citizen Security of the state.
He also called on citizens to provide updated photos and information on tattoos and clothing that will assist in identifying the bodies.
The first two bodies, that of a man and a woman, were found in Tucupita on Saturday, Tane Tanae Delta reported. On Sunday, the bodies of three women were transferred and on Monday, a further three bodies were transferred to the port of CVF 611 in Tucupita.
Out of the eight dead, six are females and two are males. Six of the deceased have been identified by fingerprints and tattoos but two bodies have not yet been identified or recognised.
Venezuelan officials have called on relatives who are sure that their loved ones were in the boat or are missing, to go to the CICPC to facilitate the recognition and identification of the bodies by providing names and surnames, identity signs, footprints or traces of surgical interventions and epidermal inscriptions) of the disappeared.
However, on Monday, the Tane Tanae reported that the governor of Delta Amacuro state Lizeta Hernández had promised to take action against those who facilitated the illegal trip to Trinidad and Tobago.
“We will not hide anything and the guilty must pay with the full weight of the law,” Hernández reportedly said.
Among those listed as dead was Bárbara Alcalá, who left a two-year-old daughter with her mother in search of a better life in Trinidad and Tobago. Also found dead was 17-year-old Leumirys León, as well as Dulce Vegas Millán, from Maturín, Monagas state and Arxeilys Aguilarte, a resident of Tucupita. Six people have already been buried.
The boat which left Tucupita, had been travelling along the Boca de Serpiente strait of the sea near Soledado Rock in Venezuelan waters when it was hit by two huger waves.
The passengers tried to dispose of their belongings and goods which they had planned to sell in Trinidad. But as the boat sunk, they held on to floating items. Only those with life jackets survived.
Hinds: Venezuelan boat capsizing an unfortunate tragedy
National Security Minister Fitzgerald Hind yesterday described the incident as an “unfortunate tragedy.”
Hinds said although the incident happened outside of T&T’s maritime borders, local Coast Guard officers have been providing support.
He said, “It is an unfortunate state of affairs that we hope would not have happened, and we pray that it does not happen again.”
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the United Nations Refugee Agency, and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), all have expressed sadness over the incident.
In a press release issued on Monday, Eduardo Stein, Joint Special Representative of UNHCR and IOM for Venezuelan Refugees and Migrants said, “The waters of the Caribbean Sea continue to claim the lives of Venezuelans.”
“As the conditions in the country continue to deteriorate—all worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic—people continue to undertake life-threatening journeys.”
Names of rescued people
Leonardo Marín, C.I. 26,212,025, from Maturín, Monagas state.
Norberto Martínez, C.I. 15,790,379, La Florida, Virgen del Valle parish, Tucupita municipality.
Reinaldo Villarroel, C.I. 19,403,680, Cocuina, Virgen del Valle parish, Tucupita municipality.
Alberto Monterola, C.I. 3,116,192, La Horqueta, Virgen del Valle parish, Tucupita municipality.
Alba Sánchez, C.I. 21,083,791, Villa Bolivariana, Tucupita municipality.
Alexander Jiménez, C.I. 11,212,387, Cocuina Bloom, Virgen del Valle parish, Tucupita municipality.
Lazarde Salazar, C.I. 13,743,582, La Horqueta, Virgen del Valle parish, Tucupita municipality.
Source: Guardian T&T