Haitians who landed in Portland receiving helpWednesday, August 04, 2021
BY EVERARD OWEN
BUFF BAY, Portland — Four Haitian men who arrived at Spring Gardens in Portland yesterday morning have been given accommodation where they are being cared for.
The men appeared to be very weak when their boat washed ashore, according to residents who helped them before alerting the police.
They have been identified as Similien Mickenson, 26; Acnien Joslin, 34; Wawens Thelome, 35; and Wolie St Fluen, who is 63. They are believed to be fishermen who were stranded at sea and then drifted inland west of the parish. Haitians deliberately headed to Jamaica normally land on the eastern side of the parish.
Soon after reaching land the men were whisked off to the Buff Bay Police Station and the Buff Bay Health Clinic for screening and testing. According to Jamaica Observer sources they were tested for COVID-19 and have been placed in a secure venue where they will receive the requisite care.
This is the first set of Haitians to arrive in the island since the recent upheaval in Haiti and the assassination of the country's president.
“I was at my house about minutes to six and I saw the boat sail in and four men disembark… just over there,” Rodrick Hunter told the Observer. “They look like they were suffering badly. We assisted them… and we called the police officers [who] came for them. At first I thought they were Jamaicans but when I heard the language I realised it was French. They were next to dying and their belly 'gone in'. There was a lot of fish lines in the boat and some fuel bottles,” he said.
The boat has been removed to a secure location.
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