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Commodore: Ships with migrants are stopped

ROYAL Bahamas Defence Force Commodore Raymond King.

ROYAL Bahamas Defence Force Commodore Raymond King.

By LEANDRA ROLLE

Tribune Staff Reporter

lrolle@tribunemedia.net

ROYAL Bahamas Defence Force Commodore Raymond King said interceptions of migrant vessels have been largely successful for the year, noting there had been no recent illegal landings in the country.

Mr King was asked for statistics about illegal migration activity for the year during an event at the RBDF Coral Harbour base on Friday.

“For this fiscal year, none,” he told reporters. “We’ve intercepted every vessel that attempted to come to The Bahamas.

“Last year, September, following the earthquake in Haiti when we had that surge in the month of September, that was in excess of some 1,000 persons. We intercepted all those persons. We haven’t had any landings in the Commonwealth of The Bahamas during that time.”

 Irregular migration concerns were reignited last month after some 17 Haitian migrants were left dead after their vessel capsized in waters off Blackbeard’s Cay.

 Officials suspect around 45 people were on board the boat that officers suspect was enroute to Florida by way of Grand Bahama.

 A number of people are believed to be still missing following the tragedy.

 “Unfortunately, and regrettably, no, we haven’t found any bodies,” Commodore King said when asked whether any other passengers have been found.

 “If we reflect on the incident just outside of Nassau Harbour, our intelligence has suggested about 45 persons would have been on board on that vessel and so we knew we were looking for three additional bodies but what makes it difficult is when we have the lack of family members and relatives stepping forward to admit that they would have had persons on board those vessels and so that was lacking.

 “The probability of survival beyond three days is very, very dim. We continued all efforts for at least five days and adverse weather conditions and it’s most unfortunate of that incident and we seek to prevent those such incidents by being positioned to intercept.”

 According to officials, six of the 17 people who died from the tragedy have been identified.

 Five of the victims are listed as follows: Mary Saimphorin, Kourtney Volmyr, Annette Mesidor, Bobley Fertilus, and Altanice Ivroy.

 When asked if the RBDF plans to change its approach regarding how it tackles illegal migration following the incident, the RBDF chief only expressed confidence in the force’s efforts to combat the issue.

 “What it does is it really reinforces our strategy and what we’re doing,” he said. “ We’ve realised significant success over the past two and a half to three years. We have a deliberate strategy of knowing who’s in our maritime domain, controlling access to our salt waters and dominating that space using all of our resources, as well as our relationship with our national law enforcement agencies, as well as our regional partnerships.

 “We share information and we pool our resources together for the benefit of all concerned,” Commodore King said.

 In May, Commodore King told The Tribune officials had seen a marked increase in illegal migration activity over the last several months.

 He said data at the time showed that 1,892 migrants had been apprehended by local authorities since the start of this year to April, with most of those interdictions taking place in March.

 In June, Attorney General Ryan Pinder described the number of migrants entering illegally into the country as being “through the roof” and higher than ever seen before.

 A month later, Prime Minister Philip “Brave” Davis affirmed his administration’s position on irregular migration, saying the government will not open the country’s borders to migrants because it does not have the resources to do so.

 “The world is suggesting that we should absorb all of those who leave Haiti. That’s what they will say to me,” Mr Davis said during a press conference last month.

 “When I was at the summit of the Americas, they wanted me to sign onto an irregular migration declaration, but we have our own peculiar circumstances which I keep reminding the world of. We’re unable to open our borders to irregular migration and our refugees either because of our own limited resources.”

Comments

JokeyJack 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Wearing your mask reminds you that your mouth is covered, and you should try to keep it shut.

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GodSpeed 1 month, 3 weeks ago

no illegal landings that you know of anyway.

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tribanon 1 month, 3 weeks ago

“For this fiscal year, none,” he {Mr. King} told reporters. “We’ve intercepted every vessel that attempted to come to The Bahamas.

ROWL !

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LastManStanding 1 month, 3 weeks ago

“The world is suggesting that we should absorb all of those who leave Haiti. That’s what they will say to me,” Mr Davis said during a press conference last month.

Who is "the world"? Kindly forward on every Haitian we catch to whoever "the world" is please.

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TalRussell 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Hello popoulaces! Your Colony's Navy's patrolling with 100% success. Blocking all varieties of migrant vessels is Commodore Raymond King 's thing. .. Hopefully the premier will recruit the Commodore to share his 100% success rate with all other 1,122 government departments and everything else like this and that ... including those out on overdue bail and all matters of crime policing.... Weeding of parks ... and mostly, nasty smelling's garbage's collections. ― Yes?

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Flyingfish 1 month, 3 weeks ago

If the RBDF got some Patrol fighters, maybe finding these vessels could be easier.

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SP 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Haiti is reaping what it has sowed for generations! The corrupt elite ruling class deserves EVERYTHING the people impose on them.

Circumstances in Haiti is a prelude to where the Bahamas is unquestionably headed. It's only a matter of time.

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