Dominica police silent on search and rescue operation Which May Involve Haitians

Dominica News Online (DNO), has confirmed that the captain of the boat which was the object of a search and rescue operation by the Marine Unit of the Commonwealth of Dominica Police Force, has been found.

DNO has still not been to get confirmation of this development from the police but we’ve been told by a very reliable source that the captain, who is from Woodford Hill, was found in the Cabana area earlier today (Sunday, April 21, 2019).

According to our source, the man appeared to have swum ashore and although at the time he was seen, he had not yet been medically examined, he seemed to be in good physical condition.

We could ascertain whether any of the other occupants of the boat had been found.

Despite several attempts, DNO has been unable to get details from the police about the operation which, according to police information released on Saturday night, was being conducted by the Marine Unit in the waters off the north east of Dominica. The police said they were being assisted by the French authorities who provided a helicopter.

Information has surfaced which alleges that the boat may have sunk between Dominica and Guadeloupe with some Haitians on board but the police have not confirmed that.

Dominica News Online (DNO) contacted parliamentary representative for the Wesley Constituency, Ezekiel Bazil who told us, at about 1:00 pm on Sunday, that the search was continuing for a boat, powered by outboard engines, which had gone out to sea from the Woodford Hill area during the latter part of Saturday April 20, 2019.

“To date, we have not heard from the individuals who were the occupants of the vessel,” Bazil explained. “Some of the local fishermen have gone out and they have not had any communication from the captain and the other occupants.”

He could not provide details regarding the number of persons who were on board the vessel, nor could he confirm the purpose or destination of the trip.

He added, “My understanding is that there is a search going on. The villagers, including myself, we heard some  choppers in the area [during the] late hours of last night and some local persons had done a quick search for them and it’s very likely that they would be continuing to see if they can locate the individuals…. today.”

Bazil has called on the people of his constituency and the rest of Dominica to keep the occupants of the missing boat in their prayers.

“We wish them all the best. We are hoping that any other fisher folk that may be out in the area may pay some attention and look out for these individuals,” he stated. “During this Easter period we ask all Dominicans to keep the families of these individuals – the occupants of the boat – and the villagers of Woodford Hill in their prayers.”

DNO will continue to bring you verified information on this story as it becomes available.