Boat with 14 bodies, skeletal remains found drifting off Tobago coast

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Trinidad and Tobago authorities removing the bodies from the vessel on Friday (Photo: Tobago Emergency Management Agency)
Trinidad and Tobago authorities removing the bodies from the vessel on Friday (Photo: Tobago Emergency Management Agency)

The Trinidad and Tobago Police Service is investigating the discovery of 14 bodies, a skull and skeletal remains that were found stacked in a boat that was floating four miles off Belle Garden, Tobago, on Friday morning.

This discovery comes months after local authorities in Guyana were probing reports of bodies in a boat offshore. On February 15, Guyana’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) had received information that a small boat, with supposedly lifeless bodies onboard, was drifting at sea, approximately 112 nautical miles from Georgetown.

Following the discovery, several efforts were being made to bring the boat to shore, however, those were unsuccessful.

The boat eventually disappeared, causing local authorities to alert international partners, including Trinidad, to be on the lookout for the vessel.

When contacted this morning, Crime Chief Wendell Blanhum told INews that he has not heard from his Trinidadian counterparts since the discovery yesterday.

The foreign vessel the bodies were found in (Photo: Tobago Emergency Management Agency)

According to reports from the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service, around 6:30 am on Friday, whilst fishing off Belle Garden, two fishermen spotted a strange vessel.

Upon investigating, the fishermen found the decomposed bodies and subsequently contacted the Police and the Coast Guard.

“The fishermen pulled the vessel ashore at the Belle Garden Bay. The bodies, all men, were in an advanced state decomposition. The bodies were eventually removed to the mortuary at the Scarborough General Hospital to await identification and subsequent autopsies to determine the causes of death,” the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service said in a statement.

The Police Service added that the entire area was cordoned off as investigations continue.