Tragedy Strikes: 3, dead, 15 Cameroonians Missing as Boat Sinks Off Antigua

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Jenna B capsized in waters near Conaree Village, St Kitts (photo contributed)

UPDATE: Three people are now known to have died from the boat tragedy off St Kitts early Tuesday morning. They are all believed to have been from countries in Africa.

A vessel sank between Antigua and St Kitts this morning, with reports indicating that 15 Cameroonians are missing and one person has died.

Government officials have confirmed that Cameroonians living in Antigua and Barbuda were the majority of individuals on board the vessel, with only half of the 30 passengers being rescued.

The Africans were reportedly trying to get to St Thomas.

Colonel Telbert Benjamin, the Chief of Antigua and Barbuda Defence Force, has confirmed that the boat capsized 40 miles northwest of Antigua, and a search operation is currently underway to locate the missing passengers.

The ABDF Coast Guard is collaborating with its St Kitts and Nevis counterparts, as well as the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre from Martinique.

The ABDF has also deployed its fixed-wing aircraft, Alpha One, to aid in the search effort. Col. Benjamin stated that several details are still being ascertained, including the destination of the vessel.

Most of the Cameroonians arrived in Antigua and Barbuda several months ago on a chartered flight and have been stranded.

They claimed that they were promised a connecting flight to the United States and have no intention of returning to their violent-stricken country.

The government has been trying to give legal status to those who decide to remain in the country.

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23 COMMENTS

  1. I certainly hope that gaston browne has gone up in the A.B.D.F. fixed-wing aircraft, Alpha One, to assist in the search effort.

    gaston browne has turned out to be such a disappointment.

    In my opinion, the blood of the missing is on his hands and also on the hands of all of his colleagues who have not held him accountable in African shameful saga.

  2. An appalling tragedy on all fronts!

    Prime Minister Gaston Browne must now address the nation on this disastrous situation!

    If he continues to ignore what is happening (which, by the way, commenced with his collaboration with the Nigerian airline fiasco), he’s no longer fit for high office.

    Even your ardent supporters can sense somethings not right with this whole escapade!

    RESIGN NOW PRIME MINISTER BROWNE …!!!

    • … Many of us knew that once this man was given a further mandate by the voting public that things would get worse!

      WE TOLD YOU SO …

  3. They are/were trying to get the ones that came in on fake passports out of the country before the international investigation begins. There is more to this than meets the eye. Look beyond!

  4. How did this small vessel leave the port of Antigua with so much passengers? That size of the vessel is licensed to carry about 12 passengers. Where were the ABDF Coast Guard? Were they patrolling the waters at they time of night when the vessel pulled out overloaded with passengers?? Did the owner of the vessel notify the right authority of his take-off and how many passengers he had in the vessel and their names? If he did, who approved him to carry all this amount in such small vessel??

  5. I agree fully @ The plot thickens. Undoubtedly Gaston and the Nigerian employee at the Ministry of Argiculture they have a hand in this tragedy.
    They brought those people into Antigua, who incidentally, we can’t be sure of their true nationality.

    It was obvious, right from the word go that the Antigua Airways was doomed and it has manifest itself with tragic outcomes and sadly to say there are more to come before the international investigators arrival.

    Members of GB cabinet should support a vote of no confidence in him and have him removed from his Primensterial role. Of course, his cabinet are all yes men, so they will remain with the sinking ship.

  6. AT FIRST GASTON SAID THEY WERE RICH AFRICAN MEN READY TO INVEST.
    THEN GASTON SAID THEY WERE AFRICAN TOURISTS,
    THEN GASTON CHANGE AGAIN AND SAY ANTIGUA AIRWAYS WILL LINK AFRICA TO THE CARIBBEAN AND THAT SAME AIRLINE WILL HAVE AN AGREEMENT TO WORK WITH LIAT,
    THIS IS THE SAME GASTON BROWNE WHO IS NOW CALLING HIS OWN AGREEMENT “DEFUNCT AND OPPORTUNISTIC MIGRANTS”.
    THOSE WERE HIS WORDS, NOT MINE.

    ANYONE IN ANTIGUA WHO QUESTIONED GASTON BROWNE ABOUT THE AFRICANS HE WOULD DEMONISE THEM AND VERBALLY ABUSE THEM ON HIS RADIO STATION, HE SEEMS TO HAVE CONTEMPT AND A HATRED FOR ANTIGUA PEOPLE.

    MY QUESTIONS TO HIM

    GASTON BROWNE, WHERE IS YOUR BLACK CONSCIOUSNESS NOW?
    GASTON BROWNE DO YOU STILL HAVE ALL THE ANSWERS?
    GASTON BROWNE, ARE YOU AWARE THAT YOU NOW HAVE BLOOD ON YOUR HANDS?

    PEOPLE OF ANTIGUA, THIS IS JUST THE FIRST CHAPTER OF GASTON BROWNE’S HUMAN TRAFFICKING SAGA, THE NEXT SHOE IS GOING TO FALL AND ANTIGUA WILL BE CAUGHT RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE

    GASTON REALLY FULL OF SHXX AND NEED TO RESIGN IF HE HAVE ANY SHAME AND DECENCY.

  7. This whole fiasco is a sad and ought not be looked at as a partisan political issue. Every Antiguan and Barbudan need to rally around this woeful scheme because what this is doing is sullying the good name of Antigua and Barbuda. This outcome was regrettable but obvious as these folks really had no interest in staying in Antigua and will use any means at their disposal to get to the United States which was their desired target destination from day one. Our Government has not handled this situation properly and have virtually left them to seek these dangerous paths to get to their eventual destination. And the persons captaining the boat is capitalizing on a need, making money and risking the lives of these “poor” people. If the boat owners survive, I hope that the full force of the law would come down on them for facilitating this awful mess. This is sick, sad and crazy. I really hope that the Government can clean up this mess because this is just episode one. There’s more to come!

  8. Gaston, Gaston, Gaston my foot! Do you all really think that he gives one F’s about those people? The dead and missing are simply less problems for him and his boys. I am sure he was slapping his knee while wishing that it was 60 on the boat instead of 30.

  9. A BOASTFUL BACKSIDE HE IS. HIS KIDS RIGHT DOWN TO HIS GRAND KIDS WILL HV TO ANSWER TO ALL HIS SINS ON THE PEOPLE OF A&B. CURSE IS A VERY BAD THING. ASK FORMER PM, LBB. GASTON’S PANT WILL FALL OFF IN FRONT OF DCHOOL KIDS SAME WAY OR WORST.

  10. Who organized the trip. Who owned the boat. Who captained the boat. Who got paid for the trip. These are questions to answered. We know that someone had to organize this.
    Pray for the families left behind.
    Waiting for the spin from Gaston Browne, UPP responsible.

  11. Your comment is awaiting moderation
    Another ABLP and Gaston Browne failureโ€ฆ
    Blood is now on your hands for this development.

    UPP must make a real push for his dismissal not resignation.

  12. What yโ€™all need to know is that before we left Africa we already considered as dead people. Repatriating us we all gonna die upon arrival and leaving us here in Antigua is not our thing . We came prepared for either life or death so if yโ€™all the authorities are blocking the airports for us to evacuate then we shall follow any available routes to our destination. RIP ๐Ÿชฆ ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ•ฏ๏ธ๐Ÿ•Š๏ธ to our fallen comrades but we wonโ€™t stop trying until we get to our destinations. We werenโ€™t forced to come here so yโ€™all should understand we not under human trafficking. Itโ€™s either you open the airports for us to leave because we donโ€™t wanna stay in Antigua or we all will die by any means of finding our ways out .

    The gods of motherland #Africa are angry . Open the airports cuz we planning another routes that will shock the world .

    • @lead Africans to their destination.
      What you et al who according to you voluntarily placed yourself at risk by using Antigua, as your port for the commencement of your smuggling journey.

      If you et al are not being trafficked, why did you all not apply for visas to get to your ultimate destination?

      Alternatively, why did you all not take a flight from Mutualah Muhammad Airport straight to Pianama? Panama would be an nearer destination for your smuggling ambitions.

      Additionally, many of you entered Antigua with faked passport, which makes it difficult to identify who is who. You and others keep baging on about tyrannical government causing you all to be on the run for your lives, but there’s no substantive evidence to affirmed that claim.

      If there is an ounce of truth with the claim, why did you all not go neighbouring countries that are relatively peaceful? Sirre Leon, Angola, Senegal and Ghana. The list is not exhausted.

      I wasn’t aware that the authorities have forbidding any of you to leave Antigua, you et al are free and open to leave, using any means possible.

      I am equally aware that they are crooked and greedy people in Antigua who would not hesitate to exploit the compromising situation that you et al have found yourselves in.

      Majority of Antiguans did not invite any of you to enter our shores, no punt intended, but you and others have become an embarrassment to Antiguans, let me speak for myself.

      I would not be surprised if that crooked Nigerian, who is employed at the Ministry of Argiculture is not involved and behind this fiasco.

  13. @lead Africans to their destination.
    What you et al who according to you voluntarily placed yourself at risk by using Antigua, as your port for the commencement of your smuggling journey.

    If you et al are not being trafficked, why did you all not apply for visas to get to your ultimate destination?

    Alternatively, why did you all not take a flight from Mutualah Muhammad Airport straight to Pianama? Panama would be an nearer destination for your smuggling ambitions.

    Additionally, many of you entered Antigua with faked passport, which makes it difficult to identify who is who. You and others keep baging on about tyrannical government causing you all to be on the run for your lives, but there’s no substantive evidence to affirmed that claim.

    If there is an ounce of truth with the claim, why did you all not go neighbouring countries that are relatively peaceful? Sirre Leon, Angola, Senegal and Ghana. The list is not exhausted.

    I wasn’t aware that the authorities have forbidding any of you to leave Antigua, you et al are free and open to leave, using any means possible.

    I am equally aware that they are crooked and greedy people in Antigua who would not hesitate to exploit the compromising situation that you et al have found yourselves in.

    Majority of Antiguans did not invite any of you to enter our shores, no punt intended, but you and others have become an embarrassment to Antiguans, let me speak for myself.

    I would not be surprised if that crooked Nigerian, who is employed at the Ministry of Argiculture is not involved and behind this fiasco.

    • Antigua will not be held to ransom by you et al, if you all want to leave turn up to VC Bird Int.Airport with a valid ticket and visa and leave.

      Don’t threatened us, get on with your ill-fated plans!!

      If you don’t have either no aircraft will air lift you out if Antigua.
      If you all choose to follow an illegal path way that’s you et al that’s your decision.
      Antigua cannot suffer any further embarrassment caused by Gaston Browne, his cabinet ministers and the crooked Nigerian who’s employed at the Ministry of Argiculture. There are the ones who are responsible for bringing you all here in the early hours of the morning.

      Frankly speaking, the sooner you all leave Antigua’s shores the better it would be for our country.

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