A successful collaborative operation involving the Cuban Border Guard, USCG, and the RBDF culminated in the detection and interception of a Haitian Sailing Vessel carrying 275 migrants in Bahamian waters. On Friday, 14th July 2023 at 23:20hrs, the Cuban Border Guard shared information about the sighting of a blue wooden hull HSV with a white and blue sail at coordinates 22° 52.4’N 079° 08.1’W (Anguilla Cay), heading northwest at 6kts. Subsequently, on Sunday, 16th July, OPBAT (Operations Bahamas Turks and Caicos) confirmed the vessel’s interception in Bahamian waters, where the USCG disembarked the 275 Haitian migrants at its current position, located at 24° 04.991’N 080° 25.795’W (Elbow Cay).
To ensure a smooth handover and transfer process, RBDF’s surface assets, HMBS LL. Smith and Safe Boat, were deployed to facilitate the transfer of the 275 migrants that took place at Coral Harbour Base. On Monday, 17th July, HMBS LL. Smith arrived alongside Coral Harbour Base, where a comprehensive profiling of the migrants was conducted.
The profiling revealed 168 adult males, 47 adult females, 46 minor males, and 14 minor females. Two individuals necessitated immediate medical assistance. Ultimately, all migrants were safely handed over to The Bahamas Immigration Department.
Commodore Raymond E. King is steadfast in his commitment to fostering enhanced collaboration between the Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF) and local law enforcement agencies, as well as regional partners. Through joint operations and proactive information sharing, these strategic alliances serve as force multipliers, effectively addressing both existing and potential challenges.
The RBDF remains resolute in its duty to safeguard our cherished heritage, demonstrating unwavering dedication to the security and well-being of our nation.
RBDF Photos by Marine Seaman Rickey Sealey