Thu | Dec 12, 2019

Fishermen catch bucket with gun at sea

Published:Monday | December 24, 2018 | 12:00 AMHopeton Bucknor/ Gleaner Writer
A fisherfolk village on the north coast.

Western Bureau:

Three fishermen from Whitehouse, Westmoreland, are now being hailed as heroes in their seaside community after they fished up a bucket with an illegal firearm and a quantity of ammunition, which they turned over to the police.

"We have to hail them for being good citizens because had it been a group of unscrupulous fishermen that weapon and ammunition would have ended up in the hands of a criminal," a resident told The Gleaner. "They may have well saved several lives by doing the right thing."

According to reports, early last Saturday morning, the fishermen were fishing off the Whitehouse coast when they observed a bucket drifting towards land. When they pulled in the bucket they were surprised to find a Smith and Wesson .40 calibre semi-automatic pistol fitted with a magazine containing nine live .40 rounds.

"They secure the weapon on the boat, and when they came back to land they came to the police station and turned over the bucket and its contents," a policeman told The Gleaner. "We believe these men should be commended because they could have sold the gun on the black market and add to our problems with gun-related crimes in this parish."

Shortly after the fishermen turned in the firearm, police in the neighbouring Bluefields took custody of another illegal firearm. The weapon, a Browning 9mm pistol, which was loaded with several rounds of ammunition, was seized during an operation in Beeston Spring.

Reports are that about noon, a team of police officers were on an operation in Beeston Spring when they stumbled on the weapon in bushes. The weapon was stashed in a black plastic bag.

A total of 53 illegal firearms have been seized in Westmoreland since the start of 2018. The parish has had 134 murders since the start of the year.