Thursday, October 6, 2022


A Sister Is Praying the Missing Boaters Come Home

More than a week since their disappearance on the high seas, sister Themeia Sands is anxiously awaiting her brothers’ return, who traveled in a boat from Bimini to their purported next stop, Andros.

Themeia took to social media asking for assistance in finding the men, Christopher Mackey and Jerone Sands, showing the bright yellow and white boat they were last seen in.

Mackey, 51, worked at the Water and Sewage Corporation and Sands, 44, was a carpenter and a boat engine repair man, travelling from Nassau to Florida to pick up a boat, purchased by a buyer in the capital.

Family members in Bimini said the men stopped by on their way to Andros, but experienced a problem with the boat’s engine and the hull. And were admonished to take a plane from Bimini but the men opted to continue their journey to Andros, after making the necessary repairs to the vessel.

The brothers left Bimini on Monday 22nd after 3 pm but never reached Andros according to a family member who stood on the dock awaiting their arrival until 2 am.

Since then, the family has been worried, praying the pair will soon call to say they are in good physical shape.

Themeia said, “This is alarming and strange that were funding the sea and aircraft in an effort to find them and bring them home safely. Nothing was spotted. Someone saw or know something.”

The sister, while on social media, agitated for the Royal Bahamas Police force to produce a missing person flyer for the men, calling officers “laid back” in the attempt to help find her brothers.

On Wednesday afternoon, authorities issued the flyer asking for the public’s assistance in finding the men.

If you see Mackey or Sands, call the police at 911 or 502-9991. Family members are also asking the boaters to be on the lookout for the pair.

Natural Resources Committee on Its First Site Visit to Andros

The House of Assembly Select Committee on Natural Resources made its first site visit this past week to North Andros.

Why it matters

Many Bahamians have been calling on the government to ensure Bahamians benefit from the country’s natural resources. Thus, a committee was appointed by Prime Minister Hubert Minnis, the latter part of 2020 to examine the country’s natural resources.

The committee promises to make various site visits and make a report to the country on its findings.

What happened on the first official visit

  • The Committee spent Wednesday afternoon and Thursday until departure late afternoon making site visits.
  • Wednesday was on-land natural resources for the most part including: Morgan’s Bluff, Well Fields, Red Bays (sponge and fish) and Charlie’s Blue Hole.
  • Thursday was marine natural resources.
  • North Andros resident and Bahamas Fly Fishing Industry Association President Prescott Smith took the Committee on a tour including the Barrier Reef, the Great Bahama Bank, the Tongue of the Ocean, Stafford Creek and Flats. A delightful highlight of the tour was when about 10 dolphins, including a baby dolphin, swam alongside the boat and jumped out of the water!

The Committee members making the trip:

Michael A. Foulkes, Chairman, Shonel Ferguson, Picewell Forbes, Vaughn Miller and Reece Chipman.  Accompanying the Committee members were Carlton Bowleg, MP for the area, and Rashad Flowers, Assistant Clerk, House of Assembly.

Worth noting

The Committee will continue its work this week in New Providence while making plans for the next site visit in Grand Bahama in February.

London Creek Bridge Opens in Central Andros

London Creek Bridge in Central Andros was officially opened today by Prime Minister Hubert Minnis.

The natural creek was negatively impacted by the construction of roads across it, but today, the completion of a new bridge prevents blockage of the London creek.

Why it matters

  • The London Creek project is important for the surrounding area as it will help to regenerate the natural flora and fauna of the creek system.
  • This will provide a catalyst for ecotourism in Andros by providing residents and visitors with the opportunity to experience the beauty of the natural creeks’ ecosystems.

The details

  • A contract was signed in June 2019, with SJK Engineering & Construction, for the construction of the culverts.
  • The contract was in the amount of $2,126,916.51.
  • The installation of culverts increases the water flow and allow small crafts to pass under the road with headroom of 7 to 8 feet at a high water level.
  • There is a vehicle guardrail on the approaches to the structure and line markings and signs.

74 Illegal Migrants Repatriated

74 Haitian nationals were repatriated to their home country on Monday morning.

The details

  • The Department of Immigration repatriated 57 adult Haitian men, 3 boys, 13 adult Haitian women, and 1 girl to Port-au-Prince, Haiti onboard a Bahamasair flight.
  • The group consisted of 21 convicted adult migrants lawfully detained and processed in Long Island and an additional 53 migrants who were lawfully detained and processed for Illegal Landing in South Andros over the Holiday Season.
  • The repatriation exercise was led by Senior Immigration Officer Vonetta Darling Flowers and a team of eight (8) officers from the Department’s Enforcement Unit.

What Immigration said

“The public is reminded that the Department of Immigration is committed to carrying out the mandates of our agency to combat illegal migration by establishing effective border
control management to ensure compliance with the Statute Laws of our country.

“We further wish to remind members of the public that it is a criminal offense punishable
by law to harbor illegal migrants in the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.”

The big picture

  • 45 adult Haitian nationals were found in Long Island after the vessel ran aground the day after Christmas, and 51 were found in Mar’s Bay, Andros on three days after Christmas.

Featured Image: File photo Dept of Immigration

One Man Dead, 2 Marines Injured in Boat Crash Off Andros

One man was killed and two marines of the Royal Bahamas Defence Force were injured in a boating accident in Andros on Monday night. One of the officers is in a comatose state.

What we know

  • The officers were in a private boat.
  • The 16 feet vessel hit a reef of Moxey Town, Andros around 8 pm.
  • The three men were ejected from the vessel, all men sustained injuries
  • The vessel was badly damaged, and two Marines were rescued by local fishermen, who transported them to the clinic in Mangrove Cay for medical treatment.
  • The other man who is a resident of Andros succumbed to his injuries.
  • The marines were airlifted to New Providence for treatment. One of them is alert but the other marine is unconscious.

What we don’t know

  • The identity of the men are not known

Police said they were notified of the incident after 12 midnight. They are investigating the matter further.