Reports came in on Tuesday saying that the US Coast Guard in Miami had received a tip from “a good Samaritan”. He claimed he had saved a man who was holding on for dear life while hanging from a capsized vessel about 45 miles east of Fort Pierce Inlet.” Several days ago, the vessel had drowned near the coast of Florida but due to no plausible evidence, the coast guard could not locate the people who were missing since that incident. On Tuesday, the US Coast Guard began looking for the 39 people who were believed to have been on the boat. According to a news report by AP News, the boat might have been a medium for human trafficking and sources claim the boat is believed to have been headed for the United States from the Bahamas. The Royal Bahamas Defence Force is also cooperating with the Coast Guard for solving this recent incident.
Sole Survivor Gave Some Information About the Boat’s Route to the US Coast Guard
A survivor said the vessel had left Bimini on Saturday. Security Officials made an announcement on the social media platform Twitter that they were looking for the missing persons by searching over a stretch of about 218 km between Bimini and the Fort Pierce Inlet.
In the official statement, there is a surprising point that the survivor had said none of the people aboard the boat had been wearing a life jacket. “This is a suspected human smuggling venture,” said the Twitter statement.
Later, they also added that the aircrew and the surface personnel would go on looking for the people through the night until they could find any concrete evidence of their whereabouts. Meanwhile, the US Coast Guard released an official photo on the internet where onlookers could see a man hanging on to the hull of the ship. He has now been taken to a hospital on the Coast for treatment for severe dehydration and exposure to sunlight.
Local Bonefishing Guide Said the Vessel Had to Encounter Rough Weather on Saturday
The weather was very rough on Saturday when the ship was making its way through the waters. A cold front had passed through the area and the ship had to encounter stormy weather. This might have been the reason why the boat capsized. Tommy Sewell, a bonefishing guide from the area, said that on the following two days, there were fast winds of about 20 mph speed and heavy rain too.
These smuggling incidents are nothing new. Human traffickers commonly use the Bahamas as a jumping-off point to take the people across from several Caribbean countries like Haiti to the United States. If one goes by the records of the International Organization for Migration, about 5,000 Haitian migrants have illegal jobs in the Bahamas–a number that is astounding, to say the least.