Wednesday, June 7, 2023


The Survival of the Fittest: Most Men Were Rescued From the Capsized Boat. Women and Child Died

Only the strong survived the boat tragedy on Sunday when 17 Haitians including a child died when a human smuggling vessel capsized in Bahamian waters on their way to Florida.

The dead included 15 women, one man, and a child. The other 25 passengers were rescued from the 30-foot speedboat which overturned in choppy waters in Nassau.

It was reported that 60 people may have been on board the boat and authorities may be searching for up to eighteen missing people, unaccounted for.

In a picture issued by the Royal Bahamas Defence Force, only men were seen sitting atop the capsized vessel, awaiting rescue by divers.

A woman was pulled from the hull of the boat and was reported to have survived due to an air pocket.

Commissioner of Police Clayton Fernander said divers heard a knocking from the hull of the boat and found one woman.

“I think that’s what kept her alive.”

A graphic image showing the deceased recovered from the boating tragedy. The migrants were Haitians being smuggled to Miami, Florida.

Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry said he sympathized with the parents of the victims.

“This new drama saddens the whole nation,” he said. “While sympathizing with the parents of the victims, I launch, once again, an appeal for national reconciliation in order to solve the problems that are driving away, far from our soil, our brothers, our sisters, our children.”

The passengers who survived the ordeal said they paid smugglers $3000 to $8000 to catch the boat ride to Florida. Authorities have since arrested two Bahamian traffickers who are known for other criminal acts.

Lone Survivor Rescued from Bimini Migrant Passage Details Horrific Ordeal

Twenty-two-year-old Columbian native, Juan Esteban is the sole survivor of the human smuggling ordeal where all of the passengers died during the passage from Bimini to Florida.

Thirty-nine people died in Florida waters on their way from Bimini when the boat capsized.

Esteban described the horrific ordeal on Tuesday at a press conference in Miami where he was reunited with his mother after 11 years.

The popular picture shows Juan Esteba clinging to a boat after 39 other passengers drowned. Only five bodies were recovered.

Esteban said he made the trip with his sister María Camila, who also perished because they were promised that the route –flying into the Bahamas where no visa is required then two short boat rides to Florida, was easier and less dangerous than the Mexico transit.

The Bimini passage to Florida is becoming a popular transit point for human smuggling. In recent times, boats that traversed the route have capsized with missing passengers who have not been recovered.

Of the 39 passengers, authorities found five bodies, but not María Camila.

Juan Esteban said, “They tell you, you’ll be in Miami in three, four hours… It’s all a lie.”

Immigration officials did not detain Esteban but permitted him to join his mother where he will seek political asylum.

He did not say how much he paid for the journey which he said included people from Haiti, Jamaica, the Bahamas, and the Dominican Republic. He said one woman held a baby girl.

“That seemed bad to me, but I had such a desire to get to the country,” Esteban said.

When the boat capsized, he said, one by one, those left in the water began drifting away from the vessel, some dying, others so exhausted they didn’t have the strength to hold on any longer, he said.

By early Monday evening, nearly two days after departing, he was alone.

Dehydrated, he was found by a tugboat that spotted him atop the capsized vessel. He was rescued, hospitalized, and released to the care of his mother.

US Coast Guards Are Searching for 39 People Who Left Bimini Then Capsized

Thirty-nine people left Bimini aboard a boat on Friday night but never made it to their destination.

US Coast Guards believe it was a smuggling ring. 

The lone survivor who was found atop the capsized vessel said the group encountered srong winds as they traversed the seas which caused the boat to capsize.

The lone survivor was rescued by a passerby and the matter was reported to officials around 8:45 pm on Tuesday.

The search has been ongoing since the unfortunate incident.

Officials say they are searching between Bimini and Fort Pierce for the missing boaters.

Photo credit: CNN (Tina Burnside)