Royal Bahamas Defence Force vessel HMBS DURWARD KNOWLES.

On Saturday, March 6th, 2021, the Bahamas Defence Force reported that a search was ongoing for five (5) Cuban nationals after nineteen (19) were picked up on Friday, March 5th, 2021 in the Southern Bahamas during a joint effort by members of the Royal Bahamas Defence Force, Operation Turks and Caicos (OPBAT) and the United States Coast Guard.

On Wednesday, March 3rd, six (6) individuals were captured after being sighted on Anguilla Cay, and taken aboard a US Coast Guard cutter. While in the area, the USCG vessel also sighted eighteen (18) Cuban nationals on Cay Sal. HMBS DURWARD KNOWLES, under the command of Senior Lieutenant Jataro McDonald, was dispatched to investigate.

After arriving to the area, DURWARD KNOWLES conducted an extensive search of the surrounding cays, waters and inlet for additional individuals. The Defence Force patrol craft rendezvoused with the USCG vessel on Thursday shortly after 2:00 pm, to receive the six (6) individuals.

Shortly after 4:00 pm Thursday, HMBS DURWARD KNOWLES spotted a capsized vessel in waters approximately 3 nautical miles south of Cay Sal, and retrieved thirteen (13) Cuban nationals, including a deceased male.

Both Defence Force and USCG, on Saturday afteroon, March 6th, were still in the area conducting searches for the presumed missing individuals.

Royal Bahamas Defence Force