Antigua: Boat in West African migrant tragedy found with body

Sea water (Photo: iStock)

Source: Loop Caribbean
An update has been received on what may have happened to the vessel which left Antigua last month and overturned with West Africans and Antiguans, resulting in the loss of three lives, some being saved and several missing.

According to a statement on the Cabinet notes from the Office of the Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, there was a report that a small fishing boat that unlawfully departed Antigua with 32 passengers and overturned near St Kitts, drifted into Puerto Rico’s waters with one body on board.

It was stated that a group of about 15 West Africans who are now in Guadeloupe, are likely to be dealt with by those authorities. The West Africans and two Antiguans who were rescued by St Kitts and Nevis Coast Guard 10 days ago remain in that country’s custody, it was reported.

On March 27, 2023, thirty West Africans and two Antiguans left Urlings, Antigua on a fishing boat destined for the US Virgin Islands.

A few hours into the journey, the boat was struck by large waves and capsized.

Fourteen Cameroonians and two Antiguans were rescued from the ocean while 13 were reported missing.

In addition, Cabinet held a discussion about the West Africans who have been present in Antigua since late December 2022.

The UNHCR and the IOM have concluded a preliminary report which is to be examined by the national agencies that are playing a part in the resettling exercise.

The now-defunct Antigua Airways charter flights had brought over 900 West Africans from Nigeria and left them in the Caribbean in dire circumstances.

About 637 of the more than 900 Africans, who touched down in Antigua from Nigeria between November and January as tourists, are on the island.

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