Some stories just suck the air out of you:

The story in a Trinidadian newspaper, says three Venezuelan MD were pronounced dead after drowning at sea this past weekend. They’d travelled to Trinidad in desperate search of medical supplies no longer available in Venezuela. They died during the return trip.

According to the source above Venezuelan authorities were notified about the spill.

The report says the doctors —who have not been named— were travelling together with three others, who managed to survive. The entire group had arrived by boat at Trinidad on April 28. Their ship’s cooling system was reportedly clogged by an oil spill from a tanker by T&T’s oil company, Petrotrin. The ship drifted for days and eventually began to take on water. Reports indicate the vessel eventually sank.

According to Trindad’s Guardian newspaper, it’s not unusual for Venezuelans to dock at Trinidad to look for food and basic medical supplies.

When found (in Venezuelan waters), the crew was taken to Güiria.

Crew members were identified as: Fernando Eustadillo, Mariana Revilla, Leobel Barcelli, Luis González, Jesús B. Montano and  Luis León Guerra. According to the source above Venezuelan authorities were notified about the spill.

The story has been reported in at least two media outlets in Trinidad (though only one is online.) It’s a measure of the state of press freedom in Venezuela that no one has reported it on our side.

May my colleagues rest in peace.

28 COMMENTS

  1. Being from the States, where the great majority of medicines are sold by prescription only, is Trinidad similar to Venezuela where many medicines are sold over the counter? If not, even though these guys might have been doctors, they’d have been buying pretty basic stuff. Of course, when I can find something as simple as an antibiotic, I buy all they’ll allow because I don’t know when or if I’ll see it again.

      • I was assumlng their medical licenses might not be recognized in T&T. They certainly wouldn’t be in the States without going through the proper channels.

      • There are some medications in the US that require a prescription from a doctor that is not the case in Venezuela such as birth control pills…

    • Maybe they talked with some of the people there explaining the situation and they conviced them to sell/donate medicines and supply to them

    • I live in Trinidad and here you can buy medicines over the counter but things like antibiotics and even the Syringe and needles can only be purchased with a prescription. Also when you buy drugs with a prescription they will sell you only the exact prescribed amount.

    • Mr Rubio basic stuff it is needed here. But in TT you can buy more than basic stuff without prescription, unless they are narcotics or similar. Besides that, antibiotics and real medicines no basic ones can be bought, thanks God, in TT.

  2. How do we get this story to the Associated Press? Every tragedy like this needs to be known round the world in order to get change.

    • Vdpsc, contact AP’s Hannah Dreier in Ccs or her boss Joshua Goodman in Bogota. They are on Twitter and their emails online.

  3. What a shame.I have taken the journey from Guiria to Port of Spain and when you hit the boca de dragon the seas are very rough.May the RIP

  4. And in the newspapers of Brazil today there was the story of the city of Manaus declaring state of emergency due to the arrival of desperate Venezuelan Indians (probably Chavistas?), many more to come.

    http://g1.globo.com/am/amazonas/noticia/com-intensa-imigracao-de-indios-venezuelanos-manaus-decreta-situacao-de-emergencia.ghtml

    People tend to say that this is oh so different from Syria. I say that it’s even worse than Syria, because Syria had just half of the Venezulan population when the war begun, and the chaos didn’t spread to neighbouring countries as it’s happening in South America. Imagine more two or three years like that.

    • wao! Those are Waraos, from the Orinoco Delta far away from Brazil. They used to migrate to Valencia during the worst of the nineties but they would be fool to do so now with Valencia being so much worse off than it has been in over a century

  5. Why didn’t they equip their boat with an EPIRB? If they are doing are doing an open ocean crossing that was stupid not to have one. New ones cost $400, and used ones on eBay can be bought for $250.

    Crazy.

    • Because the simplest of transactions in the US represent a major hurdle in Venezuela. Nothing comes easy here besides repression and hunger.

    • Mr Ron, we the venezuela people have not access to any kind of dollars. Because we have exchange control. The access to dollar is with government permission. we are not free

  6. I made contact wirh the AP reporters listed. Thank you for the information. Hopefully, they sill pick up the story.

  7. Why on Earth people are talking nonsense about having prescriptions or not. Did you read the news? Persons died trying to get medical supplies. Also don’t criticize about having the best conditions for the boat. We don’t have free access to US dollars or any other foreign currency, the only way is to get them from the black market… To give you an idea the basic salary is equivalent to 10 USD (monthly), so a regular person would need to work for a year just to earn 120 bucks. If you go to a private practice doctors ask for the equivalent to 5 bucks, that is a lot of money for most people, but still if you need to buy supplies abroad that is still no much money. Here you can go to the doctor and get a prescription, but finding medicines is another story. You have to make a pharmacy tour or call many of them to find some if any. Antibiotics, birth control, anticoagulants, cancer treatment among others and hard or impossible to find in Venezuela. If you go to a public hospital you will be required to bring alcohol, gauze, cotton, syringes, and almost everything. Here people are fighting to recover all kinds of freedom and democracy. A lot of people are struggling to get food, medicines and praying to stay alive. Infant mortality has risen in about 35%….and I’ll stop here. It is a real shame that people have to die under preventable circumstances, but conditions don’t allow to prevent them.

  8. The truth Will ríes From the deep sea. And all of us Will know what really happened
    Meantime
    Rest in peace DEAR friends.

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