Providenciales, TCI, January 25, 2017 – Cramped conditions and 69 people on board coupled with a treacherous reef and stormy weather led to the capsize of a relatively small wooden sloop, says Police Commissioner, James Smith. The Governor, His Excellency, Dr. John Freeman offered condolences to the Haitian people and led a moment of Silence for the dearly departed.
Haiti was represented in its Consul at a press conference which just wrapped up at the Hilly Ewing Building. Leaders focused also on the issue of human smuggling, which is universally illegal. One survivor is in Police custody and it is his information which is giving Police and Border Control insight into how many were on board and when the boat departed Haiti.
The boat left Haiti on January 20, 2017 said the Commissioner who also explained that a call to 911 exposed that there were people seen running on the Beach in northwest point early yesterday. There were ten found dead yesterday, another male body discovered by Police this morning and a report of a female body washed ashore at the Amanyara Resort, also this morning. Police have no idea how many died in the mishap and how many made it to shore and again, with the same appeal echoed by the Governor and Premier, asked for the public to report what they know in the case.
Through Haitian Consul, Jacques Adolphe, there is dialogue with Haiti which will see it’s new government officially installed in two weeks. Consul Adolphe expressed that this issue is important to the Haitian Government. In recent years Haiti has resisted signing an anticipated Memorandum of Understanding with TCIG, however new Premier Sharlene Robinson promised a stern push to have a tete a tete with the new Haitian regime to turn things around.
Deputy Premier, Sean Astwood confirmed that over $1 million was spent on dealing with Haitian landings and interceptions. Three vessels have made it to shore so far for 2017. A National Security Council or NSC meeting will delve more deeply into the issues linked to border control, including talk on the coastal radar.
Questions or responses to questions on the apparent inadequacy of the coastal radar were handled by the Governor who opted not to expound on so called weaknesses in the system. HE Dr John Freeman stated flatly that it was not on the public interest to disclose the known information. Still residents are with eyes wide open and can see the trend of migrants trying to enter Provo more northwest now. There is a significant reduction in reports of radar aided interceptions.