By Dana Malcolm
#TurksandCaicos, May 25, 2023 – As international media houses report on the recent marine accident in Providenciales where a young woman lost a foot, Big Blue Collective Eco Tours is attempting to set the record straight as they defend the marine life and safety reputation of the Turks and Caicos.
They say the young woman was not on a charter trip with their establishment as reported by some media houses, rather she was on a private vessel when she was mistaken for food by what they think to be a Caribbean Reef Shark.
“The extremely rare and unfortunate incident that happened yesterday afternoon, Wednesday 24th May, 2023, in the Turks & Caicos Islands, outside the reef, involving a snorkeler and a shark, occurred during a private trip. Only two individuals were in the water, which was clear and calm, when a presumed Caribbean Reef Shark left one snorkeler with an injury due to what is known in diving circles as a case of mistaken identity.”
The communications team at Big Blue spoke to Magnetic Media on May 25th, the day after the incident. They expressed concern for the victim and her family, maintaining that her safety was the first priority.
They say that it was a very rare freak incident, “The calm, quick and measured response from one of our captains and office team meant that the victim was extracted from the ocean and dispatched in the ambulance in 15 minutes, saving them from a potentially life-threatening situation. We applaud all the efforts of our team, the paramedics, and the emergency first aid responders. Our thoughts are with the victim, their family and loved ones at this time.”
Reports on Thursday explained an investigation was opened to determine how the Connecticut woman was injured; however Big Blue informs only the Police quizzed them for information on the incident.
We are told the young woman was lucid enough to get back to the boat for help when she realized she was injured. Immediately the team on the boat, which included Big Blue employees, though it was not their charter, jumped into action, retrieving her foot and trying to staunch the bleeding from her limb.
Big Blue told us she was transferred into medical professionals’ care within minutes. Big Blue and the Department of Environment and Coastal Resources are both stressing that incidences of this nature are extremely rare in the Turks and Caicos Islands, and cannot be used to judge the swimming, snorkeling, or overall experience in the country’s waters.
In addition certain marine animals are protected by law in the Turks and Caicos, and should not be hunted or killed for sport, or any other reason without a proper license.
Washington MISICK challenged, and holds onto Leadership of the PNP
#TurksandCaicos, February 24, 2024 – Magnetic Media can report that WASHINGTON MISICK has emerged and remains LEADER of the governing Progressive National Party.The run for party leader was a risky maneuver by Saunders, son of former PNP Party leader and Chief Minister Norman Saunders. Delegates cast votes, giving E Jay Saunders 58 votes and Washington Misick 88. The elder statesman convincingly retaining delegates’ confidence. It is also reported that, based on the PNP Constitution, Saunders needed 70% support from delegates in a preliminary run off. He was unable to secure that much backing. A constitutional motion to change the selection process of the deputy leader to a delegate vote reportedly failed. It is therefore unclear what the immediate future, politically is for Saunders whose party and government roles are hinged on Washington Misick’s prerogative to have him or someone else in these posts. However Misick is already promoting a strict focus on uniting the party following the NGC meeting held at the Shore Club.It has been a contentious battle today at the PNPs National General Congress (NGC) for party leadership with interest coming from: Jas Walkin, the party’s 2021 campaign manager who this week publicly withdrew his bid; Dameko Dean, former Wheeland candidate who had published an article revealing his quest to lead the PNP and E Jay Saunders who today unsuccessfully challenged MISICK for the role. Saunders has tried for leader before and has served as the party’s deputy leader, at the pleasure and selection of Washington Misick since June 2019.
TCI Community College staff struck and robbed, another chased in car by attackers
#TurksandCaicos, February 23, 2024 – Attacks against several of its staff members last week have forced the Turks and Caicos Islands Community College to reassess its security.
“The college is robustly ending in immediate steps to review and reinforce our campus security protocols,” said a February 16 letter to staff seen by Magnetic Media.
The letter puts the date of the incidents as February 15th at one of its Providenciales campuses.
In the first, a male member of staff was attacked and his car stolen after he left a meeting. When Magnetic Media queried police about the event, they released additional details of the robbery.
We were told around 9:15 pm, Thursday February 15, a 39-year-old male and his colleagues were leaving the TCI Community College Campus, Princess Drive, Providenciales, when a group of men surrounded his vehicle.
The man, noticing that one of the men had stopped at the rear of the vehicle, approached him to investigate and was struck on the head. In the immediate aftermath, the assailants escaped in the victim’s car, leaving the TCICC staff member injured at the scene.
The victim was transported to the Cheshire Hall Medical Center by police officers, and up until news production time, the car had not yet been recovered.
Following this incident, the Community College also revealed that a car chase had taken place.
A female member of staff this time, was chased down by suspected criminals as she left the campus. The employee managed to outdrive the people pursuing her and arrive safely at her destination, but she was described as shaken.
Now both, police officers and campus administration are urging residents to remain vigilant, especially when heading into their cars at night.
Safety tips that can help residents avoid attack, robbery, injury, or worse include:
- Stay alert when heading to your vehicle; don’t be distracted by your phone; pay attention to your surroundings.
- if you see anything or anyone suspicious, do not investigate on your own; go back and get a security guard or similar personnel to assist.
- Have your keys ready in your hands before approaching your car, so you can enter the safety of your vehicle immediately.
The police have not yet arrested anyone for the robbery attack against the employee.
Royal TCI Police share CAREER DAY Highlights
#TurksandCaicos, February 23, 2024 – On Thursday, 8th February 2024, between 9 am – and 2 pm, the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force attended a Career Day event at the Enid Capron Primary School, Five Cays, Providenciales.
Under the theme “Be aware, choose a career”, the RTCIPF showcased the many career options available in policing.
Members of the Community Policing Unit, Safeguarding and Public Protection, Anti-Gang and Drugs Unit, Marine Branch, Traffic Enforcement, Air Support Unit and Mechanical Department were present. Officers answered questions posed by the young, impressionable minds.
Insp Ensa Wilson lectured students on various topics, including: “Good Touch, Bad Touch”, alerting adults to inappropriate situations and the importance of calling 911.
Students were asked questions following the lecture and were given RTCIPF tokens.
Sgt. Kavin Mars, along with PC Fitzlewis McDonald and Kiyon Doughty of the Anti Gang and Drug Unit, freestyled “Don’t Huff, Don’t Puff, Don’t Do That Stuff” and warned students of the dangers –health and legal – of using drugs.
Superintendent (Community Policing and Divisions) Dwight Gardiner commended the school’s initiative and applauded the representation of officers present.
Supt. Gardiner said: “Career Days often highlight the importance of community policing and underscore law enforcement’s vital role in fostering trust, collaboration, and safety within neighbourhoods.
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