THE Coast Guard has launched a manhunt for two fishermen who have vanished without a trace after setting sail two Sundays ago.
Missing are 46-year-old Hamid Lalla and 20-year-old Keon Bartholomew.
According to reports, Lalla from Production Avenue in Sea Lots, Port of Spain left his family's home around 10 a.m. on July 29 to go fishing in the Gulf of Paria.
Lalla, a fisherman for over 30 years, set sail in his vessel My Own registration number TFP 1178.
He was accompanied by Bartholomew. Lalla, a grandfather of two, would usually return onshore by 2 a.m. on a Monday in time for the opening of the fish market, his daughter Asha, 23, told the Express yesterday.
He never returned.
Lalla would usually keep his cellphone at hand to keep in contact with his family while offshore.
Calls to his cellphone have gone unanswered.
But even of more concern to Lalla's relatives is the fact that he was robbed by pirates earlier this year.
Some six months ago while Lalla was offshore he was attacked by pirates, Asha said yesterday.
One of his two boat engines was stolen during that incident.
"The pirates stole the bigger of his two engines and sent him back on his way," Asha said yesterday.
The robbery was reported to the Coast Guard.
Lalla's family fears that he was not as fortunate this time around.
My Own which is painted white and blue is outfitted with two Yamaha engines.
Lalla's family is now calling on anyone with information on the two missing men to come forward.
The Coast Guard is now engaged in a manhunt for the two missing fishermen, public relations officer for the Coast Guard, Lieutenant Kirk Jean-Baptiste confirmed yesterday.