Fisherman Killed in Pirate Attack off Trinidad

Fisherman Andrew Volman was reportedly forced over the side (FFOS)

Published Jun 15, 2021 8:07 PM by The Maritime Executive

The body of a Trinidadian fisherman who was forced over the side of his boat at gunpoint has been recovered on shore, according to the advocacy group Fishermen and Friends of the Sea (FFOS). 

On Sunday evening, armed attackers boarded a fishing boat operated by local fisherman Andrew Volman and one of his relatives. The pirates ordered them to jump over the side, then abandoned them and made off with the vessel, the group reported. 

Volman went missing, and his body was later found at La Brea, a small town on the island's southwest coast. The other crewmember managed to swim to shore. The boat was later recovered intact, minus its engine, according to FFOS. 

Local police confirmed the account to Trinidadian news outlet Daily Express.

The attack is the latest in a long series targeting artisanal fishermen on Trinidad's coast, including four more that occurred just last week. 

"[On June 9] four vessels were stolen at sea and fishers thrown overboard in the dark of night, and yet our government has not acted on a single recommendation made in 2019 by the government convened stakeholder committee," said organizer Gary Aboud in a social media appeal. "How many more must die? We continue to appeal for good public administration."

Aboud asserted that Trinidad's coast guard has not responded to the serious incidents of violence targeting fishermen in the nation's sovereign waters. "We have not seen any coast guard," he said, noting that fishermen have appealed for a stronger law enforcement presence for years.

In 2019, seven Trinidadian fishermen were killed in an attack off Port of Spain. Police attributed the murders to a local gangster, Akini "Dole" Adams, who was killed in a police operation shortly after. 

Trinidadian fishermen have also reported run-ins with pirates from nearby Venezuela, where economic collapse and anarchy have created a breeding ground for crime. "There's been about 50 fishermen in the village who've had run-ins with them, either being robbed or kidnapped," fisherman Gerry Padarath told the BBC in 2019. "Our only chance is to fish in the dark, so they don't see us, or buy bigger engines so we can outrun them."