Tragedy: Bahamas confirms dead bodies washed ashore days after Haitian boat capsizes

Bahamian law enforcement authorities have launched an investigation into the discovery of three bodies that washed ashore on two cays in The Bahamas over the weekend.

A boat filled with migrants from Haiti that was stopped en route to Florida. (Photo: Miami Herald)

Members of the Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF) and the Royal Bahamas Police Force have descended on the Ragged Island Chain after the bodies were discovered on Double Breasted Cay and another on a nearby cay.

The discovery comes after the HMBS L. L. Smith, rescued a group of 31 migrants between Maycock Cay and Double Breast Cay after their vessel reportedly capsized on January 21.

“All persons rescued appeared to be in good health and required no further medical attention.”

— Royal Bahamas Defence Force

“The group had reportedly left from Haiti on 10 January 2020, with varying reports that they had capsized around the 13th January, being able to survive on the cay for some 5 days. All persons rescued appeared to be in good health and required no further medical attention,” according to a statement issued by the RBDF.

It quoted those rescued as telling investigators that there were more persons unaccounted for, including another five females, but could not provide a definite total who had left Port au Paix, Haiti.

The RBDF said that along with other law enforcement agencies, a search was conducted in the “with negative sightings of the reported capsized vessel or debris”.

But the statement said that a few days later “a tourist anchored in the area, reported sighting of a dead body ashore Double Breast Cay…and another body just over an hour later.”

The statement said that officials “will continue to probe into the matter, searching the surrounding areas for further survivors”.