A SEARCH is ongoing for five Cubans who are presumed missing after 19 others were picked up, including a deceased male, during a joint law enforcement operation in the southern Bahamas last week.
According to the Royal Bahamas Defence Force, the 19 Cubans were picked up during a joint effort with Operation Turks and Caicos (OPBAT) and the United States Coast Guard.
On Wednesday, March 3, six individuals were captured after being spotted on Anguilla Cay and taken aboard a US Coast Guard cutter. While in the area, the USCG vessel also saw 18 Cubans on Cay Sal.
HMBS Durward Knowles, under the command of Senior Lieutenant Jataro McDonald, was dispatched to investigate.
After arriving in the area, the RBDF conducted an extensive search of the surrounding cays, waters and inlet for additional individuals. The RBDF patrol craft met with the USCG vessel on Thursday shortly after 2pm, to receive the six individuals.
Shortly after 4pm Thursday, HMBS Durward Knowles spotted a capsized vessel in waters approximately three nautical miles south of Cay Sal, and retrieved 13 Cuban nationals, including a deceased male.
The RBDF and USCG are still in the area conducting searches for the presumed missing individuals.
Yesterday, Princess Margaret Hospital said it received three of the Cuban migrants rescued from the capsized vessel, two of whom are patients and the other is deceased.
The women migrants were admitted to hospital for management of chemical burns, PMH said.
The “initial triage, resuscitation and stabilisation” of the migrants was carried out by the RBDF medical department at HMBS Coral Harbour.