The search and rescue operation has shifted into recovery mode after Tuesday’s incident in which a boat capsized and sank off St. Kitts, resulting in three deaths.
The vessel was carrying two locals and thirty Africans when it left Antigua and Barbuda.
Responders rescued sixteen people, and thirteen were still missing.
“We have moved from rescue to really recovery at this point in time as there are no signs based on the information before me of any further persons in the immediate area – that is live persons,” Antigua and Barbuda’s Chief of Defence Staff, Colonel Telbert Benjamin told state-owned ABS Wednesday evening.
“I daresay the event is in a recovery stage rather than a rescue,” Benjamin said.
Antigua Observer reported allegations that the Africans on the boat were trying to get to St Thomas in the US Virgin Islands with the United States mainland as their final destination.
After the tragedy, Prime Minister Gaston Browne expressed ‘deep sorrow’ over the loss of life.
And he promised a full investigation into what he described as ‘this unlawful and dreadful affair.’
Browne said the Africans on board the capsized boat had arrived as tourists aiming to migrate to other countries.
Headline stock image courtesy Oliver Paaske (Unsplash.com)