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South Caicos school shut; possible Covid-19 exposure

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Karen Malcolm, Minister of Education, file photo

#Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands – November 22, 2020 – Turks and Caicos now has its first school closure due to possible Covid-19 contamination; it is in South Caicos at the Marjorie Basden High school.  Students are asked not to report to school tomorrow.

A statement from the Ministry of Education, posted to the TCI Government Facebook page explains:  “The Ministry of Education wishes to advise the general public that face-to-face learning at the Marjorie Basden High School will cease with immediate effect, until further notice. The disruption to face-to-face learning is due to possible exposure by school personnel to COVID-19. The school will be deep cleaned and sanitized during this period and will resume face-to-face learning upon approval from the Ministry of Health. In the interim, all students will resume virtual learning commencing Monday, November 23, 2020.”

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Two new cases for South Caicos were recorded over the weekend.  Overall, Turks and Caicos has seen a concerning spike in positive diagnoses with 20 new cases of Covid-19 in 48-hours.

High schools returned to in-person learning in October for its fourth and fifth formers.  Primary schools across the country resumed classroom teaching for grades five and six in November. All students on all islands are due to go back to physical school in the New Year.  Still, it was not expected this process of returning to school campuses would go without its challenges amidst the pandemic.

“The health and safety of our staff and students are of paramount importance; hence we are taking the necessary precautions and urge staff, students and the general public to continue to practice the safety protocols prescribed by the Ministry of Health. This includes the wearing of masks, frequent washing and sanitizing of hands and practising social distancing,” said Education executives in the Sunday evening statement.

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Crime

Five Cays Shooting Death

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***MEDIA RELEASE***

June 22nd, 2024.

Homicide detectives of the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force are actively investigating a murder in Five Cays, Providenciales.

Initial reports indicate that shortly after midday, the Police Control Room received several calls stating that gunshots were being heard in the area of the Community Center.

RT&CIPF officers responded to the given location and found the lifeless body of a male with what appeared to be gunshot wounds about the body.

The RT&CIPF is asking anyone with information that may help in this investigation to contact the closest police station, 911, the Serious Crime Unit at 231-1842, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-8477 to provide any information anonymously.

Additionally, individuals are encouraged to download the Crime Stoppers P3 app to share information.

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News

Rescued

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Media Release

June 22nd, 2024.

 

Two occupants of an aircraft were rescued around 3:28 p.m. today (June 22) following an intensive sea search around Providenciales.

The occupants –two males- are currently receiving medical attention.

The Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force can confirm that shortly after midday, the Air Tower received a report regarding an aircraft landing on water (ditching) approximately 11 miles from Northwest Point, Providenciales.

The aircraft had departed from the United States and experienced engine failure.

Having received reports of the incident, a Strategic Coordinating Group with representation from the RT&CIPF, the TCI Civil Aviation Authority, the Airport Authority, the Department of Disaster Management and Emergencies, and the Ministry of Health was activated to coordinate the search and rescue.

The group worked closely with partners from OpBat and received confirmation that a United States Coast Guard helicopter had successfully rescued the two persons after three hours.

The victims were brought ashore.

Acting Assistant Commissioner of Police Mat Newton said, “I wish to express my profound gratitude and acknowledge the invaluable support of our national and international partners.

“This successful rescue operation is a testament to our collective strength and coordination. With the full support from our US partners and the local marine community, I extend my heartfelt thanks to our OpBat partners and the crew of the US Coastguard helicopter, as well as the Marine Branch of the RT&CIPF, the staff of the Department of Environment and Coastal Resources (DECR), the Department of Fisheries and Resources Management, Caribbean Cruisin, and vessels from the TCI Search and Rescue Association.

“We are now in the process of initiating an investigation into the accident in close liaison with the Civil Aviation Authority.”

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News

Swiss-Canadian Pilot speaks from Hospital bed; was THREE HOURS in TCI waters after Crash Landing

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By Wilkie Arthur, Danae Dennie, Deandrea Hamilton

Editorial Team

 

#TurksandCaicos, June 22, 2024 – For three hours in the wide open Atlantic Ocean, the two men who were aboard a twin engine aircraft forced on Saturday to crash land in waters near Providenciales held onto hope and each other, certain they would be rescued. Miraculously both men are now back on dry ground and are expected to make a full recovery, with local doctors reporting only superficial wounds as evidence of their harrowing experience.

Islanders in the Turks and Caicos learned about the aircraft mayday around 12:30 p.m.

“The Coast Guard received information from dispatch.  Survivors contacted dispatch by satellite phone saying they can see the helicopter.  Two persons in the water wearing yellow life jackets.  Several boats, as well as helicopter still actively searching,” was a key update shared with us around the time the men were pulled from the water.

It was shared with Magnetic Media that the private flight took off from Palm Beach, Florida around 8 a.m. on June 22 that the duo ran into some problems over the Turks and Caicos where they had planned to make a fuel stop.  Instead of refueling, there was an “orchestrated decent”; something pilots are trained to perform in the event of an emergency.

Wilkie Arthur of Eagle Legal News secured an interview with the man piloting the plane. He confirmed it was a twin engine aircraft, that both people on board survived and that he was Swiss-Canadian, his passenger, a Frenchman.

“The water was warm (pilot laughs) and I knew it was important for us to stay together, with each other and I had the watch and he had the phone and we just tried to get somebody to find us because it is hard to see such a small airplane in the swells but if they know that some people are alive, then they keep searching.”

The Swiss Canadian who opted to withhold his identity said that he was in good spirits and commended the rescue effort.

“I guess everybody is happy.  It was good coordination from local and US Coast Guard and the folks here, taking care of us.”

The men are being treated at the Cheshire Hall Medical Centre in Providenciales, brought in by ambulance minutes before 5 p.m.

Mr. Arthur spoke to the pilot as he lay, bandaged but grateful in a hospital bed.

In a press release, the Turks and Caicos Minister for Aviation, Arlington Musgrove expressed his thanks to the various agencies and the TCI boating community for their rapid response.

“Your service is commendable and is demonstrable of the rich community spirit that exists in the Turks and Caicos Islands.”

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