Territory responds to capsized boat
Wednesday, July 20 – In response to the report of a capsized vessel in Virgin Islands waters, the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force activated the Territory’s Mass Fatality Plan.
A meeting of local authorities including the Department of Disaster Management was held yesterday to determine next steps which will include further searches by the Territorial Search and Rescue Team (TSART), a multi-jurisdiction investigation, an established point of contact for family members and the processing of any persons by Immigration or remains by the RVIPF and the BVI Health Services Authority.
Following the first report on July 13 of the capsized boat, the United States Coast Guard, RVIPF, the Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard and the USVI National Parks Authorities conducted searches for possible survivors up to Saturday, July 16. Four men were rescued by tourists in BVI waters on July 13 and were questioned by Immigration. Three men have since been repatriated and one is in police custody.
Body parts were recovered on Peter Island on Friday and are being processed by RVIPF and the BVIHSA. Additional body parts were also recovered on Monday afternoon.
RVIPF has not located the capsized vessel and has not established clearly the number of persons aboard. Identification was recovered for five persons.
Persons wanting information in relation to this incident can contact the Police Liaison Officer Constable Delma Tavanier-Perez through the RVIPF three digit local access number 311 or 1-284-494-3822.