Categorized | National News

Haitians Feared Dead- Boat Caught In Storm

An unknown number of Haitian migrants who tried to sneak into The Bahamas over the weekend are believed to have drowned, according to a top immigration official.

The Department of Immigration apprehended 152 Haitian migrants at Lisbon Cay off Mangrove Cay, Andros seven days after leaving Cap Haïtien, Haiti.

The migrants’ sloop ran aground Saturday as Tropical Storm Isaac churned through the southwest portion of the country.

According to National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), the boat ran aground Saturday.

At this point, officials don’t know just how many people were on board at the time, but Immigration Director Jack Thompson said they believe some Haitians might have drowned.

NEMA, meantime, said a search and recovery effort was launched, however, due to the rough seas that mission was “being challenged.”

“We here in New Providence are strategising on how to proceed. Once the weather subsides we stand ready to take the appropriate action,” Mr. Thompson said.

The US Coast Guard assisted with the use of its helicopter to transport two Defence Force marines and two Immigration officers to Mangrove Cay to assist in the exercise.

Mr. Thompson said because of the large numbers the 122 Haitians detainees are being housed at the Catholic Centre and at a warehouse at the Mangrove Cay dock.

“We are satisfied that the authorities in Mangrove Cay are performing their duties to make the migrants comfortable,” Mr. Thompson said.

The detainees have been examined by medical personnel and are in good health, with the exception of a few who were treated for dehydration.

In June, 11 Haitians died when their boat capsized off of Abaco.

The group was being smuggled into the US when tragedy struck.

The Haitian detainees could be repatriated as early as today.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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