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Minister of Public Works Robeson Benn has reported that there has been no sign of the cargo vessel MV Oliver L in the territorial waters of Guyana, Trinidad, nor in Venezuela.A team comprising Minister Benn, Lt. Col. Orin Porter, Operations Officer of the Coast Guard; Michael Tennant, River Navigation Officer,  MARAD; Harbour Master, Volton Skeete; Commanding Officer of the Coast Guard Gary Beaton; and Director of Maritime Safety Stephen Thomas met yesterday to study the reports that have so far come in from the search and rescue operations.Contact at the Diplomatic level has also been made with both Trinidad and Tobago and Venezuela.The vessel registered in the name of Raymond Lord, which has been missing since Christmas Day was manned by Captain Wexton Andrews, and two seamen ratings,Cheap Jerseys China, Ramdat Roopnarine and Clad Burnett.  The Oliver L left Trinidad on December 21 destined for Port Georgetown,  and was expected to arrive in Guyana on Christmas Eve Day. It did not arrive.Additional time was allotted because of bad weather. A new arrival time was calculated to be latest December 26,Boxing Day. The vessel has still not arrived.Minister Benn said that local authorities have been in contact again with the both the Trinidad and Venezuelan Coast Guards with no positive results. He said, “Yesterday we did issue a search box for the mouth of the Orinoco (River) where it has been inferred by the experts, that if the vessel lost power and was adrift, it may find itself in that area. But so far there has been no success on that search which is continuing.”Minister Benn and other members of the Maritime Authority expressed concern about the crew of the vessel. “We are of course very concerned, not simply about the loss of the assets, but more particularly, about the captain and crew on board the vessel. And that is Captain Andrews, and the two seamen, Roopnarine and Burnett,” the Minister said.“We will continue to be in contact with the owners and the representatives here for the vessel,Cheap Jerseys, to be able to determine more particularly, and to record the circumstances in relation to the vessel and the fact that its missing so far.”Work with the Venezuelan and Trinidad and Tobago coastguards will continue with the support of the local authorities which include the Transport and Harbours Department, the Maritime Administration Department and the Guyana Coast Guard.Personnel at the lighthouse, fisher folk and coastal mariners, and all other seagoing vessels have all been alerted to be on the lookout for the MV Oliver L. Coastguard assets in the Northwest District have also been notified and have been on watch for the vessel.“We will continue to work hard at this to bring what we hope to be a good closure to the matter,” said Minister Benn.Responding to the fear that the operation could at some time move away from a Search and Rescue operation and become a Search and Recover, Minister Benn said, “We would have to await the outcome of the current search that is underway in the Orinoco before we determine that. There have been occasions where we have been told the vessel has been delayed on a number of occasions, and didn’t report after four or five days. This is an extended period and highly unusual.”If it is necessary, the call will be made, the Minister explained. However, that determination will be made based on the information received over the next few days.He added, “Of course when we would have concluded that we would have comprehensively searched all the areas along the Guyana coast and that we are satisfied too, that the help of Venezuela  has been thorough, and the help of the Trinidad and Tobago coastguard too has been thorough and comprehensive, we will make the call.”There is no indication that the vessel and crew may have slipped through any Port Authorities and gone elsewhere said Minister Benn adding that he would be surprised if they did that for any reason. “They have families. Their families are concerned about them. We are of course very concerned about them (too). We are informed that they have both cell phones and satellite phones.“The vessel is also equipped with the VHF, UHF, SSP radios, so it is worrying from that point of view,” he said.On the issue of using a tracking system to locate the vessel and crew,Wholesale NFL Jerseys, Minister Benn explained that they do not have instrumentation to be tracked in that manner,Jerseys NFL China, adding that while all the normal things are installed on the vessel such as the radios and satellite phones, the phones would have to be on to be able to track.Director of Maritime Safety, Stephen Thomas, explained further that while the satellite telephone on the vessel is not a mandatory piece of equipment, it’s a good piece of equipment.  Thomas added, “According to the owner, they have been trying to contact it but it’s not on. They did not get any response. We’ve tried the cell phone numbers given for the crew also, and we aren’t getting any response.“We have done calls to the VHF and the High Frequency radio, which is a long distance, and we are not getting any response either. We are hoping that maybe it’s some mechanical or electrical problem.  I mean that’s our optimistic hope, and its something that can be rectified, and will be rectified.”Thomas said that they are actively pursuing all means to locate the vessel and crew through communications assets and collaboration with Guyana’s neighbours, “and all the vessels that are currently operating in our waters.“We have contacted ships that are coming from Trinidad to Guyana to ask them to be vigilant if they notice a vessel that fits that description,Cheap Wholesale Jerseys, so that they can inform us and we can actively engage,” he added.According to Maritime records, the vessel has all the basics in the necessary communication equipment, and its inspection is up to date. “If they are anywhere, stranded anywhere on the coast, they will be seen, because our coast is relatively busy between here and the Northwest district,” Thomas said.“We are engaging our Venezuelan colleagues because between Trinidad and Venezuela, in the track that the vessel was pursuing, is a lengthy coastline with a lot of islands and islets. So we are engaging with our Venezuelan colleagues,Jerseys From China, and the Coast Guard over there to help us in that regard, because we cannot go and search in the Venezuelan waters, but we are actively scrutinizing our waters for any evidence of them. We’re hopeful that the crew is alive and well, and every effort is being made to rescue and recover them.”It is possible that the crew and vessel may have sought shelter from bad weather in the Orinoco Delta, on the leeward side of one of the islands, which is why there is so much collaboration with the Venezuelans.Meanwhile, Harbour Master Volton Skeete, said that the Georgetown lighthouse, the main Coast Station, is in communications with foreign vessels that would normally  frequent Guyana’s ports once they are heading to Trinidad or Venezuela. These vessels will be giving feedback to the Lighthouse if anything comes up.The Lighthouse is also in communication with fishing vessels that would be leaving to keep a look out. This will be ongoing as long as necessary. The search is continuing.
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