A joint response to a MAYDAY call uncovered a possible migrant smuggling operation Sunday 16 January 2022. At 07: 56am, Operation Bahamas Turks and Caicos (OPBAT) reported a possible MAYDAY call heard in the Bimini area. Resultantly, an air asset was directed to investigate. At 09:10 am, OPBAT reported a vessel that was disabled in the water at 10.78NM North Bimini. The vessel was taking on water due to adverse weather conditions. It was also reported that there were six (6) persons on board with life jackets already adorned. Chief Petty Officer Ronnie Neymour onboard the Royal Bahamas Defence Force Contender craft that was recently donated by the United States Government, was informed and departed North Bimini shortly after. Braving the adverse weather conditions and determined to carry out the mandate of the RBDF, the contender, made it alongside the disabled vessel at 11:22 am. Upon further investigation, the vessel had on board two (2) Bahamians, two (2) Ecuadorians, and two (2) Columbians. All persons were taken safely into North Bimini at 12:45 pm and handed over to Police and Immigration for further processing.
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