By Alagie Manneh
There have been calls for help after fire burnt a large chunk of a sea rescue unit building at the Bakau fish landing site last week.
Although no lives were lost, the fire destroyed 15 boat engines, the roof and a duty roster belonging to the officers.
The rescue unit is a subsidiary of the Gambia Fire and Rescue Services (GFRS).
The cause of the fire remains unclear, but officers suspect an electrical fault to be responsible.
An officer who spoke to The Standard on anonymity, said a massive help will be required to put the building back to its former self.
“We require help from all, from government to individuals because it is a rescue station, those we rescue are fishermen and beachgoers, including even tourists.”
He added that left unchecked, the consequences could be devastating considering the many lives that the rescue unit often saved.
The president of the Bakau Fishermen Association, Alieu Saine, said the quantity of damages is immeasurable.
“No one can clearly say what led to the fire, although people are saying it was an electrical fault. But there was so much wind blowing that day. By the time the Fire and Rescue Services arrive, the damage was already done.”
Mr Saine, who is a boat operator, said he too, has lost an engine to the fire.
“This is a rescue station that has greatly benefitted the community of Bakau. The sea rescue team would go up to Denton Bridge, even Brufut to help save lives when an incident occurs. Even the boat operators here, any time they have an engine failure at sea they would call the rescue men who would immediately come to their rescue. Therefore, the presence of this unit here is very important to our community,” Mr Saine told The Standard.