Wed | Nov 21, 2018

Leave Pedro Cays, JDF warns fishers

Published:Tuesday | September 11, 2018 | 12:00 AMChristopher Serju/ Gleaner Writer

The Jamaica Defence Force Coast Guard is taking seriously Tropical Storm Isaac, even though it poses no immediate threat to Jamaica and is not projected to reach Barbados until Thursday.

In preparation, the Coast Guard is evacuating its personnel from the station at Pedro Cays and is advising all fisherfolk there to immediately begin preparations to leave.

"These storms can strengthen suddenly and become even deadlier and more unpredictable overnight," Lieutenant Com-mander Aceion Prescott, acting commanding officer of the JDF Coast Guard, said in a release last night.

Persons in need of assistance to leave the cay must make themselves available to board the Coast Guard offshore patrol vessel, which is due to arrive this morning.

"Persons in need of conveyance assistance are urged to take advantage of the opportunity during the course of tomorrow (Tuesday) as the approaching storm will make it extremely unlikely that another trip will be possible," Prescott further advised.

In July 2013, head of the Coast Guard, Commander David Chin-Fong, warned that he would not continue to put staff at risk to rescue fisherfolk who chose to put themselves in danger needlessly. He lamented the issue of search-and-rescue missions for fishing vessels running out of gas as a problem that too often sees the Coast Guard drop other important assignments in order to rescue delinquent fishers.