UPDATE: Dominica police silent on search and rescue operation

Dominica News Online (DNO), has confirmed that the captain of the boat which was the object of a search and rescue operation by the Marine Unit of the Commonwealth of Dominica Police Force, has been found.

DNO has still not been to get confirmation of this development from the police but we’ve been told by a very reliable source that the captain, who is from Woodford Hill, was found in the Cabana area earlier today (Sunday, April 21, 2019).

According to our source, the man appeared to have swum ashore and although at the time he was seen, he had not yet been medically examined, he seemed to be in good physical condition.

We could not ascertain whether any of the other occupants of the boat had been found.

Despite several attempts, DNO has been unable to get details from the police about the operation which, according to police information released on Saturday night, was being conducted by the Marine Unit in the waters off the north east of Dominica. The police said they were being assisted by the French authorities who provided a helicopter.

Information has surfaced which alleges that the boat may have sunk between Dominica and Guadeloupe with some Haitians on board but the police have not confirmed that.

Dominica News Online (DNO) contacted parliamentary representative for the Wesley Constituency, Ezekiel Bazil who told us, at about 1:00 pm on Sunday, that the search was continuing for a boat, powered by outboard engines, which had gone out to sea from the Woodford Hill area during the latter part of Saturday April 20, 2019.

“To date, we have not heard from the individuals who were the occupants of the vessel,” Bazil explained. “Some of the local fishermen have gone out and they have not had any communication from the captain and the other occupants.”

He could not provide details regarding the number of persons who were on board the vessel, nor could he confirm the purpose or destination of the trip.

He added, “My understanding is that there is a search going on. The villagers, including myself, we heard some  choppers in the area [during the] late hours of last night and some local persons had done a quick search for them and it’s very likely that they would be continuing to see if they can locate the individuals…. today.”

Bazil has called on the people of his constituency and the rest of Dominica to keep the occupants of the missing boat in their prayers.

“We wish them all the best. We are hoping that any other fisher folk that may be out in the area may pay some attention and look out for these individuals,” he stated. “During this Easter period we ask all Dominicans to keep the families of these individuals – the occupants of the boat – and the villagers of Woodford Hill in their prayers.”

DNO will continue to bring you verified information on this story as it becomes available.

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18 Comments

  1. Fed up of these nonsense
    April 25, 2019

    It seems like is Skerrit who told those captains to transport these Haitians backdoor. It seems like he is the one contacting those Haitian nationals to come to Dominica as a means of migrating to another country illegally. It seems like is Skerrit who is paying those captains to transports those Haitian nationals illegally. It seems like he is the one behind all those things.. Seriously, ease up on the man and put all you self out there and try to make the country the way you all want it and stop complaining. One man can’t do everything on his own. You people bringing down you all own country and foreigners out there laughing at all of you..

  2. REAL!!!!
    April 22, 2019

    This DLP Govt does not deserve a new mandate ..….
    1. Very Poor Hospital and Health services ,
    2. Expulsion of our doctors
    3. Failed Economy ,
    4. Dangerous and Poor road network/ infrastructure.
    5. No INTL airport.
    6. No salary increases and More Taxes,
    7. Little or No Agriculture production.
    8. No Manufacturing.
    9. Minimal exports except Haitians and not even proper equipment to search for us or fly us out in a disaster/ serious accident in a highly fragile country like DA.

    • %
      April 23, 2019

      You forgot they drove Ross away man!!
      Why did you?
      Skerrit Must Go
      Skerrit Must Go
      LAZY Skerrit Must Go Now

  3. Kalinago Justice
    April 22, 2019

    It’s now that the blood of all those who perished will be on the head of the one-man rogue regime prime mistake! Whoever was responsible as the captain for the boat should be in the hands of the police and made to pay!

    • Gods precious
      April 22, 2019

      So true that’s negligence big time. Well elections coming up n comin turmoil. Who knows what he came out n do Guada. His French n that’s his place so oh put u all thinking caps on. Blood is starting to shed n ppl missing. Ppl put all u thinking caps. Hmmm open all u eyes. Pray for all u families. Go bk to praying for our country. Dominicans

  4. Ibo France
    April 22, 2019

    It is glaringly obvious that Dominica has become a transit point for human trafficking more particularly of Haitians. For mysterious reason(s), the relevant authorities have turned a blind eye to this. Dominica is not a haven for refugees or immigrants; to procure employment, it is as difficult as finding needle in a forest. Why the deafening silence on such an important issue? The citizens are entitled to information about this recent incident. Dominicans have been much too docile and apathetic for too long therefore the government treats its citizens with scant disregard. The people are only important when general elections are imminent. The citizens have to wake up, stand up and demand much more openness and accountability from the government. This would only contribute to a healthier democracy.

  5. Shaka zulu
    April 22, 2019

    They are silent because human trafficking have been allowed to go on in Dominica for years. It is big business for some locals with boats and houses to rent. Some ministers benefited. If 50 people drowned as i heard then it is a very sad and troubling story. Those who been allowing by burying their heads in the sand are responsible for the tragedy. Sure they will keep silent cause news of this will bring to the surface the extent of human trafficking in Dominica. Human trafficking is a UN violation.

    • Ibo France
      April 22, 2019

      Shaka, why is this regime always embroiled in scandals and negativity? The dark storm clouds that hover over Dominica are only getting darker. You can’t plant potato and expect corn. You can’t install a corrupt government and expect honesty. It has been mostly downhill for Dominica with Skerrit as leader. This government has surely reached to the end of its rope.

    • Dr. Sam sm
      April 22, 2019

      I call upon OECS/CARICOM to launch a serious and prompt independent inquiry into underlying cause of the frequent deaths of regional citizens in the waters between Dominica and the French Islands

    • truth2power
      April 23, 2019

      that’s why when hatians tie red flags on the rims of their vehicles they know what they benefit from this Govt.

  6. My little take
    April 21, 2019

    Police not talking, Security minister not talking and Skerrit not talking. Everybody silent on such an important matter, where human lives are missing in what looks like an illegal act. I wonder why? DNO please allow me to ask questions here: Is human trafficking legal in Dominica now? If not why so many Haitians coming daily and and so many of them leaving next day or so on a small boats as if their trip to and from DA is planned by some big man here? My other question is, why are so many Haitians allowed to Dominica in broad day light, especially when we know and they know that we don’t have work and our economy is probably worse that theirs? How is that they are coming here in broad daylight, on a plane but after a day or two the majority of them running to Guada or Martinique on a small boat illegally? Don’t tell me the authority here don’t know they are entering here legally as a transit point, so they could hop a small boat in darkness to Guada or Martinique. How sad boy

    • Island peeps
      April 22, 2019

      You need to read the Caricom laws before making stupid comments about Skerrit. You people are just obsess with one man. Instead of coming on DNO and talk about Haitians why don’t you talk about Dominicans that don’t want to work the land. I am tired about the Skerrit talk every morning, noon and night.

      • My Little Take
        April 22, 2019

        @island Peeps you must be the soutiweh police inspector that always cooking a Meal and defending corruption and evil. Why did you not put out the portion on CARICOM laws that preventing Skerrit and his police from addressing the Haitian tourism crisis we have? Is there a known CARICOM law that says Haitians should only be allowed to come to Dominica legally and then upon arrival they should find their way out of Dominica by all illegal means possible?

  7. Gouvelma
    April 21, 2019

    I wonder what the coast guard went out in since due to lack of maintenance their boats have been out of commission for quite a while. Every day our government is receiving wake up calls and reminders on how badly they have failed the people. That have not maintained anything. We are at the mercies of Martinique and Guadeloupe. We have nothing of our own. It is sad what the labor government has brought Dominica to. Soon we will be calling on Guadeloupe and Martinique to take police officers to the scene of road accidents since Dominica cannot afford the basic needs for the police to do their work. Then again when the police go out to sea to do rescue missions doesn’t that remind the government that they need proper insurance. Why should they risk their lives for nothing. In the mean time we are paying insurance for every minister and they board flights as soon as their heads hurt and we have no choice but to remain in the outdated system and die.

    • John Jay
      April 21, 2019

      Not only this, the coast guard dont have time for our shore line or patrol the seas but to be doing security duties at Ross buildings or compound in granvillia.
      I say shame on the police force and the government. Skerrit need to get out and make way for reliable and competent Dominicans to run the country.
      This people perish at sea and their blood is upon the government because the U.S government gave the Dominicans government monies to build a coast guard base in Portsmouth and where is this monies shame, get out.

      • April 22, 2019

        There blood? The gorvernment that send them to take Haitians backdoor?. The blood of them Haitian on the boat captain and them hands.

    • Ibo France
      April 22, 2019

      Govelma, your comments should resonate with all fair minded, concerned, sensible and patriotic Dominicans. The incumbent government has paid very little attention, if any, to the maintenance of public properties, so most are in a very sad state of disrepair. Roads, bridges, schools, police stations, hospitals, health centers, public buildings and vehicles, coast guard vessels have fallen victim to government’s neglect and dereliction of duty. This is undeniable. Can any sane person, in good conscience, tell me why this administration merits another term in government? NO WAY!!!!

    • dominicagirl
      April 23, 2019

      This Government has surely failed the people. It is glaring and undeniable.

      They must go.

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