(Eleuthera, Bahamas) A second landing of illegal migrants of Haitian origin was reported on Wednesday morning, May 17th, 2017 near Bannerman Town, South Eleuthera.
This new incident came just one day after authorities had winded down an intense three-day search from Saturday, May 13th to Monday, May 15th, which had resulted in 88 illegal migrants and 1 deceased person being found in the areas surrounding Cape Eleuthera and Deep Creek, but no vessel.
Local Police and Immigration in Eleuthera, along with Defence Force personnel, who were still near the vicinity, were actively searching the south Eleuthera area near Bannerman, where 26 illegal migrants (24 men and 2 women) had been taken into custody as of 1:00 pm on Wednesday.
The vessel involved in this latest illegal landing has been recovered near the coast of Lighthouse beach. This new search ensued, shortly after authorities received the report around 8am on Wednesday morning.
Update 7 (final): Authorities wrapped up their search on Friday evening, May 19th, with 4 additional illegal migrants apprehended (3 men and 1 woman), bringing the total number of illegal migrants taken into custody during the past week to 172.
On Friday, May 19th, authorities were still actively searching the island for illegal migrants from the Haitian sloop, recovered near Bannerman Town. As of 1:00pm on Friday, 5 additional men had been taken into custody. They, along with the 15 illegal migrants apprehended on Thursday (20 people in total) were transported to New Providence via Pineapple Air, shortly after 1:00pm on Friday for further processing. The total number of illegal migrants, apprehended from the recovered vessel near Bannerman Town, to date, stands at 80.
When added to the 88 people apprehended during the weekend of May 13 – May 15, 168 illegal migrants have been taken into custody in The Eleutheras during the past week.
At 8:00pm on Thursday evening, May 18th, 2017, authorities reported that the day’s search had resulted in an additional 15 illegal migrants (2 women, 12 men, and 1 boy) being apprehended in the Bannerman Town and Wemyss Bight areas. This most recent set of illegal migrants apprehended brings the total number of people taken into custody since the illegal landing on Wednesday morning to 75.
Another 4 illegal migrants (all men) were apprehended in the Wemyss Bight, South Eleuthera area before 8am on Thursday morning, May 18th, 2017. A comprehensive search for illegal migrants from the vessel recovered near Bannerman Town’s Lighthouse beach, by local Police and Immigration in Eleuthera, continued on Thursday.
As of 8:30pm on Wednesday evening, May 17th, 2017, Police and Immigration reported that the total number of illegal migrants taken into custody had increased by another 6 people, taking the total to 60 (6 women and 54 men). Officers continued the search for illegal migrants associated with the vessel recovered near Bannerman Town’s Lighthouse beach, into the evening.
As of 6:00pm on Wednesday afternoon, May 17th, 2017, authorities reported that the total number of illegal migrants taken into custody was bumped up by another 21 individuals, to a total of 54 (6 women and 48 men).
As of 4:00pm on Wednesday afternoon, May 17th, 2017, authorities reported that a total of 33 illegal migrants had been taken into custody as a result of searches throughout the day in the Bannerman Town area, including, 30 men and 3 women. The group of migrants were transported to the capital in New Providence by the Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF).