Thieves destroying fishermen's livelihood

June 04, 2018
Fishermen Taffari Thompson (left) and Orette Anderson (right) move one of their engines from the store room.
Winston Lindsay says thieves have been stealing their boat engines.

For more than a decade, thieves have been preying on the fishermen at Rocky Point, St Thomas, stealing their boats, engines and destroying their livelihood.

And not even the storeroom in which they keep their boat engines is enough to ward off the robbers.

After hitting off the locks on a grill, the thieves then pried open doors of the storerooms, where they selected their preferred equipment and then made off with their loot, leaving the rest for another day.

The fishermen said that they suffered at the hands of hoodlums even as recent as last Monday night.

"Them come in, pop off dah lock yah, pop a next, [and] tek out the engine," one fisherman told THE STAR.

The fishermen were also shocked that the thieves pillaged along the coastline, stealing several spearguns and an engine valued at almost $700,000.

They say their colleague, Michael, who had planned to venture out to sea, had to return home and had not been seen on the coastline since his loss.

Based on the numerous robberies, the fishermen are worried that they might soon lose the tools that they use to earn a living.

Winston Lindsay, 70, who has been fishing since he was 15 years old, said that while he is deeply concerned about the frequency of the robberies, he still has to be counting his lucky stars.

"Dem kick off my engine but true it want coil, dem nuh worry tek out my engine," he explained.




Lindsay, whose boat and engine were stolen 12 years ago, said that they have ran out of ideas on how to protect their engines from thieves.

"Wi nuh know weh fi do different yah now. A dem mash up di grill mek it can't lock, we haffi use chain. Wi only a plan say if wi can organise and get a different door," a clearly stressed-out Lindsay said.

Another fisherman, Orette Anderson, explained that some fishermen have started to take home their engines.

"We used to keep wi engine pon di boat pon di seaside, but when the man dem start gwaan bad, we start lock dem up," he explained.

"But when di man dem well want it, dem a go start go a dem yard fi it. Dem soon haffi sleep with it inna dem bedroom."

However, Lindsay argues that it is hard for a fisherman to take home an engine after a long day at sea.

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