By EARYEL BOWLEG
Tribune Staff Reporter
THREE foreign nationals were found dead at the Sandals Emerald Bay Resort in Exuma on Friday, confirmed Health Minister Dr Michael Darville.
Exuma and Ragged Island MP and Acting Prime Minister Chester Cooper confirmed they were Americans - two men and a woman.
He said while the cause of death is unknown at this time, he was advised that foul play was not suspected.
He added that he has briefed Prime Minister Philip 'Brave' Davis on the matter.
Another American, said to be the wife of one of the deceased, was airlifted to New Providence to receive treatment at the Princess Margaret Hospital.
Before their deaths, Dr Darville said two of the visitors were treated at the island’s clinic.
“To my understanding, yesterday two of the individuals presented to the healthcare facility in Exuma experiencing nausea and vomiting,” Dr Darville said. “They were treated at the facility. The doctor on-call made a recommendation for them to be airlifted to New Providence and subsequently they refused.
“So, this morning officials from the Ministry of Health were called to Sandals Resort for an investigation where three of the individuals were pronounced dead.”
According to unofficial reports, Dr Darville said, the deceased were all in their 60s. To his knowledge, he added, the incident was not COVID-19 related.
Regarding the airlifted woman, Dr Darville said: “To my understanding, and it’s very sketchy, they were subsequently taken to the mini hospital in Exuma. They received oxygen therapy as well as various different medication and there were signs of improvements prior to being airlifted.”
Dr Darville said he planned to fly to the island Friday to be a part of a full investigation into the incident along with other agencies.
“At 5:45pm, we have a team from the Ministry of Health, the Department of Environmental Health, the Ministry of Works, and the PHA who will be en-route at Sandals on Exuma for a full investigation along with the Royal Bahamas Police Force,” he said.
In a press statement issued not long after the incident, the resort expressed “deep sadness”.
“Nothing is more important to Sandals Resorts than the safety of our guests,” the statement read. “It is with deep sadness that we can confirm the passing of three guests at Emerald Bay Resort on May 6, 2022."
“A health emergency was initially reported and following our protocols we immediately alerted emergency medical professionals and relevant local authorities to provide support and investigate the situation. We are actively working to support both the investigation as well as the guests’ families in every way possible during this difficult time. Out of respect for the privacy of our guests, we cannot disclose further information at this time.”