More bodies could surface from capsized Haitian vessel

More bodies could surface from capsized Haitian vessel
Royal Bahamas Defence Force divers recovered four bodies believed to be passengers from a recently capsized Haitian sloop. Photo Credit: RBDF

NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Deputy Commander of the Royal Bahamas Defence Force Dr. Raymond King said he could not rule out the possibility that more bodies could be found in the Ragged Island chain after a Haitian vessel capsized.

“I won’t completely rule out that there may be an opportunity or chance that other bodies may surface,” said King on Tuesday.

The Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF) retrieved four bodies in the Ragged Island chain after a group of 31 Haitian migrants were discovered on the cay and brought to the capital on January 21st.

Surviving migrants told investigators that there were more persons unaccounted for, including another five women, but could not provide a definite total of souls who had left Port au Paix, Haiti.

King confirmed that The Royal Bahamas Defence conducted an aerial search using the Coast Guard, OPBAT helo, their aircraft and assets.

The group had reportedly left Haiti on January 10th with varying reports that the vessel had capsized around January 13th, according to officials.

Boardees were extracted from Double Breasted Cay and Maycock Cay.

“Initially, we weren’t able to find any sort of debris, any sort of vessel. But eventually bodies surfaced,” said King.

Some of the bodies were sighted by tourists anchored in nearby areas, and another by locals.

After a continued and comprehensive search by the RBDF, a sunken vessel with no bodies was found.

“We did our due diligence and we are here to respond if other bodies surface,” said King.