BOAT LOAD OF HAITIANS FOUND OFF HARBOUR ISLAND
(The Eleutheran) -
A boat, reportedly registered in Abaco and on its way from Haiti, with more than 100 Haitian migrants, was found drifting at the southern end of Harbour Island near South Bar during the early evening of Saturday November 5th.
Under the supervision of Eleuthera Police, the migrants were ferried on two vessels to Harbour Island, attracting a large number of resident onlookers - both Bahamian and Haitian. Inspector Elvin Missick in communication with The Eleutheran, expressed gratitude to the citizens of Harbour Island who assisted the police in their operations.
Immigration assumed custody of the Haitians as of about 11:00pm on Saturday evening and have been housing them in a hall building on Harbour Island.
According to sources, the vessel appeared to have suffered engine troubles, and got stuck in the channel. Upon initial arrival to the dock on Harbour Island, barricades were used to keep the migrants separated from the general public, and according to Chief Councillor Tremaine Johnson a "mix-up" resulted in a delay until Monday morning.
A witness on the scene said many of the Haitians appeared to be ill and were taken to the clinic and seen by a local doctor. A medical team was expected to be dispatched to Harbour Island on Sunday from the Capital to assess the group.
The migrants are expected to be moved by immigration on Monday.
Immigration officials and the Bahamas Defense Force, mounted a joint operation on Harbour Island, on Thursday November 3rd taking into custody 60+ persons. Of that number, 44 persons (23 men, 17 women and 4 children) were found to have no documented status in the country. The illegal migrants were taken to the capital for further processing.