More than a week after a Haitian boat caught fire and wrecked just off the coast of Long Island, a body was found washed ashore of the island on Saturday, Commissioner of Police Paul Rolle confirmed yesterday.
“Yesterday a concerned citizen reported what they thought was the body of a black male in the water,” he said.
“Officers went there last night and were able to secure the body, which was taken to the local morgue. We will bring him into Nassau as soon as the weather permits. The investigation in regards to the vessel, that is still going on.”
According to two survivors of the incident, nine people had been on the boat, including one deceased woman.
Rolle said it has yet to be determined whether the body is connected with the incident but police suspect it may be.
“We’re not sure where this one is from because you know the vessel was destroyed by fire,” he said.
“We’ll have an autopsy to determine cause of death.”
He added, “We have to conduct the investigation. It’s possible that it could be from the boat.”
Long Island MP Adrian Gibson said that on April 30, a cargo boat that was en route to Haiti caught fire off the coast of the island.
The following day, two Haitian men who had swam ashore claimed they had been on the boat.
There were reportedly nine people on the boat in total – six men and three women. Two were Bahamian and the others were Haitian.
The survivors claimed an explosion in the engine room caused the fire on the boat. They said a woman who was on the boat had been ill and died before the fire started, and they were separated from the other six passengers as they all tried to swim to shore.
The two men were tested for COVID-19. Last Sunday, Gibson said another Haitian cargo boat had also sunk near the charred remains of the first vessel.