Fisher lost at sea survived on ‘raw fish and rain water’

Tobago fisher Rennie Richardson drifted for over two days in the mighty Atlantic Ocean, travelling over 145 kilometres, ending up in Grenada.

Rennie Richardson, second from left, arrives on his boat
Rennie Richardson, second from left, arrives on his boat

Richardson, 31, of Plymouth, a tiny fishing village, said he survived on raw fish and rain water. He was rescued by Grenadian fishermen on Tuesday after Pastor George Alexander, a Grenadian living in Tobago, contacted his relatives to help search for Richardson.

On Friday, scores of Plymouth fishermen, villagers and family welcomed Richardson with cheers and applause on the very shore where he left on September 4. His journey back home was made on his pirogue aptly named Stamina.

“It was bad weather conditions, so when I was trying to come back home, I couldn’t make it as smooth, because I wasn’t seeing land and then I come and run out of gas. I feel happy to come back home safe and I want to thank the Grenadian people and especially Pastor George for helping me. They helped me out a lot. I want to thank the President of the fishing organisation, Dougie, and Mr Quashie,” he said.

Brimming with emotion, Richardson said he never lost hope that he would be found and used all the survival techniques he knew during the 48 hours at sea.

“I had to eat raw fish to survive and I drank rain water. At a time I say to myself, ‘I had to do what the best is, to save my life’ because there wasn’t nothing I could do again, but is God. I thank God too. I feel proud as a seaman that I made it back safe,” he said.

Richardson left the Plymouth beach last Sunday at around 06:00h on a fishing expedition but when he failed to return around 18:00h that same day, a search party went looking for him.

He was treated at a hospital and processed by Grenadian authorities before being escorted back home by two Tobago boats led by the All Tobago Fisherfolk Association.

Richardson has been fishing since age 14 and has been described as a competent fisherman. (Trinidad Guardian)