Officials of the Maritime and Navigation Service of Haiti (Semanah), as well as the Civil Protection Department, confirmed that at least two babies, nine women and 11 men died after the precarious boat sank last Saturday.
‘Éclesias’ sailboat covered the Marigot-Anse to Pitre route, allegedly overloaded with people and goods, Semanah director Eric Junior Prévost said, and blamed the negligence of the institution’s agents for the accident.
In fact, four employees were fired and Prévost announced that legal action will be taken against the captain of the ship.
Shortly after the news broke, Prime Minister Ariel Henry offered his condolences, and assured the support of the Government and authorities to the families of the victims, as well as to survivors.
This is the second accident of the kind this year, after sailboat ‘Étoile Brillante’ (Shining Star) sank with all occupants in May, after suffering a breakdown. Eight people died.
In 2020, some other 25 people died from similar incidents off the country’s coasts, while traveling in precarious boats, not meeting minimum safety standards and overloaded.