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Two Dominican Republic nationals detained following drama at sea

NASSAU, Bahamas, Jun 15, CMC – Bahamian authorities have defended the decision of the  crew of Her Majesty’s Bahamian Ship (HMBS), Cascarilla, to fire upon a fishing vessel registered in the Dominican Republic on Monday night, saying the fishing vessel had first fired upon the Cascarilla.

National Security Minister Dr. Bernard J. Nottage said that he has ordered “an immediate and thorough investigation into this incident by law enforcement agencies” and that Foreign Affairs Minister Fred Mitchell, who is in Santo Domingo on government business “has taken up the matter with the government of the Dominican Republic”.

NottageD
National Security Minister Dr. Bernard J. Nottage

Two Dominican Republic nationals are now in custody as a result of the incident that allegedly took place in Bahamian waters in the area of the Great Bahama Bank and that no RBDF personnel were injured during the exchange of gunfire.

National Security officials said the incident occurred after the crew of the HMBS Cascarilla attempted to board the fishing vessel after receiving information from local fishermen in the area and confirmation from the Defence Force’s air assets that the crew of the fishing vessel was illegally fishing in Bahamian waters.

HMBS Cascarilla subsequently engaged the Dominican vessel in hot pursuit south of Cay Lobos near the southern limits of the Great Bahama Bank. The chase continued towards Cuban territorial waters. HMBS Cascarilla called off their pursuit once the vessel entered Cuban waters.

Nottage said the Cuban Border Guard had been informed that the fishing vessel had entered their waters.

“The obligations of the Royal Bahamas Defence Force are very demanding and are becoming more challenging as The Bahamas is increasingly threatened with illicit activities including the poaching of our marine resources,” Nottage said.

“The government’s commitment is to ensure that the Royal Bahamas Defence Force is equipped to effectively protect our territorial waters and meet The Bahamas’ obligations in the area of maritime safety and security.

“The government of The Bahamas recognizes the critical role that security plays in the continued development of our nation. We have also clearly expressed our commitment to ensuring the safety and security of the people of this country,” Nottage said.

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NASSAU, Bahamas, Jun 15, CMC – Bahamian authorities have defended the decision of the  crew of Her Majesty’s Bahamian Ship (HMBS), Cascarilla, to fire upon a fishing vessel registered in the Dominican Republic on Monday night, saying the fishing vessel had first fired upon the Cascarilla.

National Security Minister Dr. Bernard J. Nottage said that he has ordered “an immediate and thorough investigation into this incident by law enforcement agencies” and that Foreign Affairs Minister Fred Mitchell, who is in Santo Domingo on government business “has taken up the matter with the government of the Dominican Republic”.

NottageD
National Security Minister Dr. Bernard J. Nottage

Two Dominican Republic nationals are now in custody as a result of the incident that allegedly took place in Bahamian waters in the area of the Great Bahama Bank and that no RBDF personnel were injured during the exchange of gunfire.

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National Security officials said the incident occurred after the crew of the HMBS Cascarilla attempted to board the fishing vessel after receiving information from local fishermen in the area and confirmation from the Defence Force’s air assets that the crew of the fishing vessel was illegally fishing in Bahamian waters.

HMBS Cascarilla subsequently engaged the Dominican vessel in hot pursuit south of Cay Lobos near the southern limits of the Great Bahama Bank. The chase continued towards Cuban territorial waters. HMBS Cascarilla called off their pursuit once the vessel entered Cuban waters.

Nottage said the Cuban Border Guard had been informed that the fishing vessel had entered their waters.

“The obligations of the Royal Bahamas Defence Force are very demanding and are becoming more challenging as The Bahamas is increasingly threatened with illicit activities including the poaching of our marine resources,” Nottage said.

“The government’s commitment is to ensure that the Royal Bahamas Defence Force is equipped to effectively protect our territorial waters and meet The Bahamas’ obligations in the area of maritime safety and security.

“The government of The Bahamas recognizes the critical role that security plays in the continued development of our nation. We have also clearly expressed our commitment to ensuring the safety and security of the people of this country,” Nottage said.