A group of Cuban Nationals were intercepted off Guinchos Cay, in the northwestern Bahamas by the Royal Bahamas Defence Force on May 15, 2021.
While conducting patrols at 2:27 am, the Defence Force patrol craft, HMBS DURWARD KNOWLES, under the command of Senior Lieutenant Jataro McDonald, spotted and intercepted a 20-foot wooden skiff approximately 16 miles off Guinchos Cay. Further investigations uncovered a group of Cuban nationals onboard.
The Cubans were subsequently taken aboard the Defence Force craft and brought into the capital early Sunday morning, and were handed over to the relevant authorities. The Cuban Embassy has since been notified.
This marks the fifth such apprehension of Cuban nationals in Bahamian waters in recent months. On March 31, a group of Cuban nationals were picked up by the United States Coast Guard Cutter USCGC CHARLES DAVID JR. off Anguilla Cay and handed over to Her Majesty’s Bahamian Ship LEON LIVINGSTON SMITH. Earlier, on Thursday 4 March, HMBS DURWARD KNOWLES spotted a capsized vessel in waters approximately 3 nautical miles south of Cay Sal and retrieved thirteen Cuban nationals, including a deceased male. On Wednesday 3 March, six Cuban nationals were taken aboard a US Coast Guard cutter after they were captured on Anguilla Cay,
In each incident, the foreigners were all handed to the relevant authorities for further investigation. The Royal Bahamas Defence Force continues to maintain a vigilant presence while patrolling and protecting the territorial waters of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.