Up to press time last night, aerial and sea searches were continuing by the Air Guard and Coast Guard respectively, for the pirogue carrying ten souls on board, public relations officer of the TT Coast Guard Lt Commander Kirk Jean-Baptiste confirmed yesterday.

The group of ten persons, among them a woman identified as Kristina Mohammed, left on Friday at about 4.30 pm in a pirouge on waters off the Gulf of Paria near The Line in Marabella, en route to Tobago.

Jean-Baptiste told the Newsday yesterday, “On Friday 27th February at 4.30 pm, a boat left Marabella with eight or ten persons. Nobody is sure right now. They set out for Tobago and somewhere en route, they ran out of gas and called Tobago for fuel.

“However, when persons from Tobago went to find them at the area given on the sea, they reported there was no sight of the pirogue named Daviann or the missing persons. The Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard was contacted on Saturday at 12.30 pm.

“The Trinidad and Tobago Air Guard was alerted and searches both aerial and on the sea were conducted but nothing yet has been found. Searches are still being conducted even as we speak,” Lt Commander Jean-Baptiste said.

He said the Venezuelan authorities will be contacted today as the search continues. Jean-Baptiste advised citizens to make sure their vessel is working properly when going out to sea.

“Make sure you take adequate water for emergency purposes, make sure there are life jackets for everyone onboard,” he said. He added that persons should also carry flashlights and flares as these are very important for their safety.

“Without these things, it makes search and rescue extremely difficult,” he said.

Jean-Baptiste also advised that family members aware of a situation need to alert the Coast Guard as soon as they get the information. “The average citizen is not equipped with training or capabilities to conduct their own search and rescue,” he said.

When Newsday visited The Line in Marabella yesterday, residents could only confirm the names of two of the ten persons on board. One name was Kristina Mohammed and the other, James Cook.

Jean-Baptiste confirmed Cook’s identity saying his sister had called the San Fernando Police Station to file a Missing Person’s report. The other person identified, Kristina Mohammed, 28, is from Williamsville.

Her frantic mother Fareida Mohammed yesterday said, “It was my daughter Kristina Mohammed and a good few of them from up so (referring to the next side of the Marabella Train Line) who went on the trip. It was a good bit of them who went.

“I don’t know if they went to bathe or where they went. She just told me she was going out. They didn’t leave from here, they left from down by the beach by the line at Jumbie Bay,” the worried, weeping woman said.

She later learned Kristina had gone with some men on a boat to Tobago. “I told her not to go on the trip, but she did not listen,” Mohammed said. The mother said she made several unsuccessful calls to her daughter’s cell. Although she is not sure, Mohammed believes another young woman by the name of Sheniece, from Pleasantville, was also on board. Efforts were made to speak with the wife of the owner of the boat, who resides on the other end of the Marabella Train Line, but when Newsday visited her home, she declined.

“Stop bringing people by me...is my brother and husband on the boat. Stop bringing people by me. I don’t want no media here,” the pirogue owner’s wife shouted.

Businessman vanishes

In an unrelated incident, police were yesterday searching for San Fernando businessman, Kirby Mohammed, 42, who has been missing since Saturday. Mohammed, who is creative director of Ruffles & Bows, was last seen on Saturday afternoon when he dropped lunch for his mother Linda, also a businesswoman.

Linda said yesterday, her son failed to turn up at their home at Mc Llewend Street, St Joseph Village, San Fernando to accompany her to a concert on Saturday evening. Mohammed is a popular San Fernando creative designer who designed for many prominent female personalities in south Trinidad.

Since then, his relatives and friends have posted his photo and appealed to the public to be on the lookout for him. Telephone calls to his mobile phone have gone unanswered. In an interview at the family’s St Joseph Village home, Linda said she last saw her son just after 1 pm on Saturday when he brought lunch for her.

“He has been missing since yesterday evening, I can’t say much. All I know is I was trying to contact him and the phone just going to voice mail,” Linda said. “I last saw him at minutes to one and he brought lunch for me. I went to my meeting and when it was over, I thought I would call and say I was on my way home. But nothing...no answer,” the worried woman said.

Mohammed was last seen wearing a pair of jeans and a cream-coloured jersey. “We were supposed to go to a comedy show at the Naparima Bowl for 8 pm and when I got dressed and waited and I see he wasn’t turning up, I tried to call again and still I am getting just voicemail,” she said.

The businesswoman said her son is a decorator and the only clue to his whereabouts is what some of his friends said, that he had gone to Port-of-Spain to collect some material. Linda said her son was not the type of person to stay away from the family without informing relatives of his location, adding that he would even call to inform them if he was in traffic.

Also missing is Mohammed’s white Nissan AD stationwagon (PDC 5152). Anyone knowing of Mohammed’s whereabouts is asked to call the nearest police station or 290-4681/290- 9390.



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