Three bodies discovered in Ragged Island chain

Three bodies discovered in Ragged Island chain
The bodies found on cays in the Ragged Island chain arrived in the capital yesterday. Photos courtesy of the Royal Bahamas Defense Force.

NASSAU, BAHAMAS – The Royal Bahamas Defense Force continues to search the Ragged Island chain for survivors after the bodies of three men washed ashore on separate cays this weekend.

Two of the bodies were spotted by a tourist anchored near Double Breasted Cay on Friday, and another body was found by locals in the area of Hog Cay.

It is believed the men were passengers on a Haitian vessel that reportedly capsized several days ago.

In a later statement, the RBDF said a submerged wreck believed to be a wooden Haitian sloop was spotted in waters off Pigeon Cay.

A group of 31 Haitian migrants were reportedly discovered on a cay between Maycock Cay and Double Breasted Cay several days ago.

The migrants were rescued and brought into the capital by HMBS L. L. Smith last Tuesday.

According to the RBDF, the group had reportedly left from Haiti on January 10 with varying reports the vessel had capsized around January 13.

The migrants reportedly survived on the cay for some five days.

“All persons rescued appeared to be in good health and required no further medical attention,” a press statement read.

“They had told investigators that there were more persons unaccounted for, including another five females, but could not provide a definite total of souls who had left Port au Paix, Haiti. Hence, both the RBDF air assets, along with OPBAT air support combed the area with negative sightings of the reported capsized vessel or debris.”

The RBDF’s statement continued: “Some three days later, a tourist anchored in the area, reported sighting of a dead body ashore Double Breast Cay around noon, and another body just over an hour later. Royal Bahamas Defence Force assets in the area were alerted and sent to investigate and report their findings.

“Another body was also found in the vicinity on Hog Cay, some 2 miles south south West of Double Breast Cay by locals who reported this to HMBS Madeira.”

The three bodies were brought into the capital on the HMBS Maderia under the command of Lieutenant Alexis Brown, along with the police crime scene investigators.

“The bodies which were badly decomposed were handed over to the coroner’s office for processing,” the RBDF statement read.

The RBDF said officials will continue to search the surrounding areas for further survivors.

Members of the Public are advised to call in any sightings to the Defence Force Operations Center at 242-826-3117.