BVI News Online has been informed that the captain of the vessel rescued with 20 people near Virgin Gorda last week may have abandoned the boat, and that each of the persons aboard had paid up to US$5,000 for the trip.
They were traveling from St Maarten to the US Virgin Islands – the same route that was being traversed in July by another vessel that apparently capsized, resulting in some 15 people still being lost at sea.
All of the missing persons are said to be Cubans.
Cubans also made up the overwhelming majority of the 20 persons rescued last week by law enforcement agencies from the British Virgin Islands. Three are Haitians.
“Investigation so far indicate that each of them may have paid up to US$5,000 for the trip to the US Virgin Islands, but ended up here by accident,” said an official close to the developments.
The 20 people rescued – including a male child and three women – are being held at a guest house in Road Town.
BVI News Online understands that local law enforcers received a telephone call last week, informing them that there was a vessel in difficulty at sea.
When they arrived at the location about 7pm on September 8, they spotted the 20 people in a fiberglass motor vessel close to Virgin Gorda.
“From all indications, the captain had left the boat to purchase fuel, but never returned for almost an entire day,” added the official who requested anonymity.
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