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More details about the burning vessel

February 23, 2010

Here is more info about what happened over the weekend. This has more details than the articles from yesterday. However, the details are still sketchy. But what is clear is that the nine men are either Bahamians or have documents to be in The Bahamas. One of the men is described as having a “certificate of identity” – I am assuming this is some kind of status document.

We should still be asking questions here though – like why were they detained for so long when they had papers? What is the protocol here? And what is this ongoing investigation?

What do you think?

“Haitians, Bahamians rescued from burning vessel released”
by Keva Lightbourne

Two Bahamians and seven Haitians who were rescued from a burning vessel in waters off Eleuthera over the weekend have been released from the custody of immigration officials, as a check revealed they were all legal, Immigration Director Jack Thompson disclosed yesterday.

“They were processed, their records were checked and they were released. We don’t have any reason to suspect anything suspicious or anything out of the ordinary,” he said.

Of the nine men, six possessed Bahamian visas, two are Bahamian citizens, and one possessed a Certificate of Identity and a Haitian passport.

Thompson stressed that no charges were levied against the men, although a police investigation is still ongoing.

He reported that the men were aboard a 90-foot steel hull freight vessel when it caught fire around 1 p.m. on Saturday. He said the vessel left Potters Cay en route to Haiti when the fire erupted in the engine room.

The men were rescued 21 miles off Cape Eleuthera.

According to Thompson, the seamen were transporting vehicles and other items to Haiti.

A release issued by the Defence Force noted that the Haitian freighter m/v C. J. caught fire just off of South Eleuthera.

However, the Defence Force said there were two Bahamians and five Haitian nationals onboard the vessel, which was captained by Walter Noel of Andros Avenue.

All persons onboard were unharmed, however, the vessel was completely destroyed.

Up to press time yesterday, the cause of the fire was also undetermined.

“The HMBS P121 made a skirmish of the area to ensure there was no debris that may pose a navigational hazard,” the Defence Force reported.

The release also noted that the vessel ‘Ballistic’ rendered assistance in the rescue effort and turned the captain and crew over to immigration authorities in Rock Sound, Eleuthera.

Published in The Nassau Guardian, 23 Feb 2010

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One Comment leave one →
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