Eight Grenadians aboard a cargo vessel that conducts business between Grenada and Trinidad say they are still shaken by their recent experience with the Trinidad and Tobago coast guard last Wednesday, which landed one of their colleagues in hospital and in need of surgery.
They say the incident which quickly escalated came as a surprise to them.
Like every Tuesday, the vessel Rayniah along with its crew left the docks of Grenville for Trinidad for its weekly trip on Tuesday, March 1st. At around 4 am Wednesday morning while in the waters of the neighboring island, they were stopped by Coast Guard for what was supposed to be a routine check.
However, according to Keith Joseph Operator of Rayniah, this check was different, as they were greeted with hostility by two officers, nothing like they had experienced over their years of sailing between islands.
He claimed that one of the officers was using obscene language to them and pointing his gun in the direction of the crew.
Joseph said the crew complied and followed the officers to the base of the vessel but what happened next, Joseph said terrified him and his crew.
The operator said they were scared for their life at that moment, few minutes later one plain-clothed officer who they concluded to be a superior came to the docks and spoke to the coast guard.
He said it was only after that encounter that the officers returned to the crew and told them that they can leave.
The crew member was later hospitalized at the Port of Spain general hospital for several injuries one of which he now requires surgery for.
While the matter was reported to the relevant authority Joseph said he will not leave this matter undone as his crew member needs to be compensated for his injuries and violation of his rights.
Akiva Augustine the young man who was hospitalized due to the incident spoke of his injuries.
Trinidad Coast Guard is already under the microscope for the killing of an Infant after coast guard officers opened fire on a boat carrying Venezuelan migrants last month.
The RGPF when asked about this incident told GBN that they were unaware and will make contact to ascertain a report on this matter.