Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 11th 2014 Contents A7
Tuesday, February 11, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
If you are filled with
love, you will be
pure at heart and
always have peace
Under heightened security and an
ignited threat-management system in
T&T and Guyana, a Caribbean Airlines
(CAL) flight, reportedly targeted by ter-
rorists, yesterday flew from the Cheddi
Jagan International Airport (CJIA),
Guyana, to the JFK Airport, New York,
CAL corporate communications man-
ager Clint Williams told the T&T
Guardian yesterday afternoon that BW
524, a direct flight, left Guyana at 6.05
am and would have almost reached New
York by then. He said the flight was suc-
Williams said, according to reports,
one specific flight, BW524, was targeted
over two specific days, yesterday and
The two countries airports will con-
tinue on full security alert again today
since the same targeted flight is scheduled
to leave Guyana for New York early this
Another flight, a stopover, BW662/520,
is scheduled to depart from Guyana to
the Piarco International Airport, Trinidad,
at 10.30 am today and then leave for
The US Embassy in Guyana, which
received the threat, advised citizens there
who had scheduled CAL flights to make
alternative travelling arrangements.
Williams said there were only 13 can-
cellations in all three flights and claimed
that was normal.
The actions taken by CAL to deal with
the situation earned it the commendation
of National Security Minister Capt Gary
He spoke to the T&T Guardian after
he held a meeting yesterday afternoon
with Transport Minister Stephen Cadiz,
Trade and Industry Minister Vasant
Bharath, members of CAL s board and
the Airports Authority s security and
Griffith said: "CAL dealt with this
matter in an exceptional manner. No
passenger was ever in any remote dan-
"However, in keeping with their high
standard to ensure the safety of passen-
gers, CAL immediately ignited their stan-
dard operation procedure for any alarm
or message in regards to any flight,
whether legitimate or false.
"There was no security concern and
flights continue as scheduled."
Williams said up to yesterday the
alleged terrorist threat remained unsub-
stantiated and was not attributed to any
"But we do not wait to investigate the
validity before protocols are put in place
to respond to any potential danger.
"Over the past 24 hours our focus has
been on ensuring the safety and comfort
of passengers across the network, with
particular focus on Guyana," he said.
Williams, noting the best security pol-
icy is one that is not explained, disclosed
that the threat-management system was
set in motion, involving the co-ordination
of experts across a number of agencies.
He added: "Law enforcement agencies
from T&T, Guyana and the Airports
Authority would have received a briefing
and put in place prescribed security
Williams said that was done without
the disruption of scheduled flights.
"Flights continued to fly at the standard
schedule. There were no related delays,"
The threat-management system is
governed by the International Air Trans-
port Association and starts with deter-
mining the strength of the threat.
At Piarco Airport yesterday morning,
there was not the expected hustle and
bustle expected in this Carnival season.
Sources pointed out plainclothes police
officers mingling with passengers in the
waiting area and said: "All of them are
here on full alert. The Organised Crime
and Narcotics Unit is upstairs. They live
"Customs officers, dogs from the
Canine Unit trained in detecting bombs
are here." He said all flights were being
Passengers waiting for flights said they
had no delays and many of them did not
know of the terrorist threat.
The US Embassy in Guyana did not
say what kind of threat it got, reportedly
via a telephone call from Barbados, or
from whom it may have come.
The public affairs unit at the US
Embassy in T&T said it had no new
information on the matter.
Cadiz said everything was going as
planned. "We flying," he added.
A CJIA statement from Guyana said
security agencies and airport personnel
assessed the threat and put in place sev-
eral measures to prevent any untoward
The heightened security posture will
remain in place until the threat is deemed
no longer valid.
A 50-year-old Venezuelan
fisherman remains warded at
hospital after sustaining serious
injuries in a shark attack off the
coast of Trinidad on Friday.
The fisherman, Simon Tormes,
was airlifted from his vessel by
an Air Guard helicopter flown by
capt Tim Lort and flying officer
According to a release from
Defence Force civil military affairs
officer, major Al Alexander, the
Air Guard officers were contacted
at 2.30 pm on Friday after their
counterparts in the Coast Guard
received a distress call from the
fisherman s vessel, Mariscal Sucre,
that a crew on board was bitten
by a shark while fishing.
The officers flew to the vessel s
location, approximately 195 nau-
tical miles east of Trinidad, sta-
bilised the fisherman and then
flew him to the San Fernando
General Hospital where he
Alexander said such medical
evacuations (MEDEVAC) were
within the remit of the Air Guard.
The Air Guard has four AW 139
helicopters capable of performing
medical evacuations, fire-fighting,
search and rescue and intelli-
Senior aircraftman Anson
Bernard and Sgt Garvin King were
also involved in the operation.
Emergency medical technician Sgt Garvin King, left, and senior aircraftman Anson Bernard attend to the
rescued Venezuelan national, Simon Tormes, on board the Air Guard's 9Y-AG311 helicopter.
PHOTOS COURTESY T&T AIR GUARD.
The fishing vessel, Mariscal Sucre, from which a 50-year-old Venezuelan national was rescued by the T&T
Air Guard rescues man bitten by shark
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