Caribbean News

Police probe disappearance of Venezuelan migrant rescued at sea

The Grenada police Friday said they had launched an investigation into the circumstances that resulted in a Venezuelan national who had been rescued at sea fleeing a public hospital where he had been taken for medical treatment last week.

Police said last Friday they had received a call from the crew of a vessel travelling from Trinidad and Tobago to St. Lucia,” in which it was reported that a man was rescued from the sea, in the waters between Trinidad and Grenada.
“In accordance with the humanitarian provisions of international conventions governing the rescue of distressed persons at sea, priority was given to providing medical treatment for the rescued man, who was determined to be in need of urgent medical attention,” the police said in a statement.

It said that the unidentified Venezuelan national was “therefore taken to the General Hospital in Grenada for medical car” but that while the man was receiving medical attention he “left the hospital without the authorisation of the relevant authority”.

The police statement gave no indication as to his whereabouts but added that law enforcement authorities would be updating the public on the conclusion of the investigation.

Earlier this week, the Trinidad and Tobago government said while its Coast Guard remains ready to assist, it is still seeking to establish whether or not several Venezuelan nationals had drowned last weekend when they attempted to leave the South American country for this country.

National Security Minister Stuart Young, told the Senate that there have been ‘conflicting reports surrounding this alleged incident in which a boat named “Ana Maria” with several Venezuelans ‘may have capsized leading to the drowning of several passengers”.

“All that has been verified at this stage is that a person who appears to be a citizen of Venezuela was picked up by a private marine vessel on its way to Grenada. That person was then taken to Grenada by the persons on the private marine vessel”

Young said that to date there are reports that the vessel had emanated from two areas, but the authorities who have been conducting searches have found nothing.

Media reports here had said that the vessel travelling from Guiria to Trinidad, reportedly overturned near Dragon’s Mouth, the same location as where a vessel carrying many Venezuelans from the economic and political chaos in their country, went down last month.

Venezuelans, who were awaiting the arrival of the vessel, said that the incident occurred last Thursday and that the boat was due to have arrived here that night.

Hundreds of Venezuelans have been fleeing their country for Trinidad and Tobago in a bid to escape the political situation where the United States and its allies are backing opposition forces seeking the removal of President Nicolas Maduro from office.

CMC

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