70 migrants in difficulty on a boat were rescued, off Sainte-Rose and transported to the port of Pointe-à-Pitre, on the morning of Monday. Several boats were dispatched to sea to come to their aid. CROSSAG was coordinating this rescue operation.
The Sea Lion, a 9-meter-long motor boat, ran aground on the night of February 22 on the coral reef of Grand Cul de Sac Marin, near Caret islet. On board, 58 men, 11 women and a one-year-old baby, migrants of Haitian nationality, according to several corroborating sources.
“An initial medical check-up on board ensured the health of all the castaways”
specifies a press release from the Prefecture of Guadeloupe.
The alert was triggered at around 4:27 am by the Antilles-Guyane Regional Operational Surveillance and Rescue Center, based in Fort de France. Canoes, SNS 263 Fotis Poulides from Pointe-à-Pitre and SNS 268 Karukéra from Basse-Terre, two Zodiacs from the maritime gendarmerie, a customs vessel and a maritime affairs vessel are mobilized to transport the people rescued to the cruise terminal of the Grand Port Maritime de la Guadeloupe for health and safety care.
“The ship is on the cay. Our boaters can intervene on foot. The conditions of intervention are therefore relatively simple, especially as the sea has calmed down. Nevertheless, it will take several rotations to transport all these castaways ”
Jean-François Robillard, deputy departmental delegate of SNSM Guadeloupe.
According to the first testimonies collected, the migrants left the island of Dominica on February 20 to try to reach the Franco-Dutch island of Saint Martin. The ferryman, a national of Dominica, reportedly left the vessel shortly after the grounding.
The castaways were redirected to the port of Bergevin in Pointe-à-Pître where they landed in the greatest discretion.
arrival of the castaways at Bergevin 2
A similar incident had already occurred on June 10, 2019. The Matthew Lawe, a 12-meter sloop flying the Canadian flag had run aground on Tête à l’Anglais islet with 27 Haitian migrants on board. The Dominican smuggler was sentenced to two years in prison by the Pointe-à-Pitre criminal court on November 7, 2020.
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