Shipwrecked Person in Cuba Receives Temporary Passport

ocean-300x225A search operation is still going on for missing people that were shipwrecked in Cuban seas. Only one person—Silvio Helmijr—was rescued and he received a temporary passport so that he can return home to Curaçao. Three people are still missing. Here are excerpts from the latest Amigoe article:

Silvio Helmijr is the only victim to be rescued after a shipwreck in the territorial waters of Cuba. Another man, whom Cuban fishermen had found in a lifeboat together with him, passed away just before the rescue. Helmijr is still in Cuba but the Bureau Buitenlandse Betrekkingen (BBB) is working together with the Kingdom’s embassy in Havana to give him a temporary passport. Helmijr is staying in the office of the Immigration Service in anticipation of a temporary passport and an e-Ticket so he can return to Curaçao. He’s not allowed to stay at a hotel because he didn’t have any ID or other documents with him at the time of his rescue.

The Cuban fishermen found the lifeboat with two Dutchmen on November 29th along the coastline at Maisí, a city in the province Guantánamo. After bringing the lifeboat to shore it appeared that one of the men gave no sign of life. The Cuban authorities were informed and the Immigration Service had contacted the embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands on December 2nd with the message that the man Helmijr had been brought to the embassy.

[. . .] The survivor was subsequently heard on what had happened. According to his statement, he was in a boat named ‘Broker Vessel’ together with four other men. That boat sailed under the American flag because they left from New York to the Dominican Republic and Curaçao.

However, en route they ran into a storm and the boat sank within minutes. The crew had just enough time to jump in the lifeboat, which appeared to be leaking. Two crewmembers were swept overboard by huge waves, Helmijr stated. He couldn’t remember when the third crewmember disappeared.

According to Helmijr, he and the man who died later on spent four days at sea with nothing to drink or eat. During those days he saw an American boat from the Coast Guard and a helicopter but assumed they could not see him due to the huge waves.

They were spotter later on by the Cuban fishermen but by then it was already too late for the fourth victim. He passed away just before they were rescued, Helmijr said. The mortal remains of this man were brought to a mortuary in Santiago de Cuba. His personal data isn’t known yet.

The other shipwrecked persons of which the police announced the personal data are still missing. The immigration office on Cuba doesn’t know if the Cuban Coast Guard came into action after it became known that the three men were missing. It regards KTK-captains Nelo Cranne and Elton Thijs and machinist Hansen. On being asked, KTK-manager Lionel Stacie stated before the Amigoe yesterday that the employees were to return from holiday last Friday. The family was contacted when they didn’t show up for work but the former hadn’t heard from the men. According to Stacie, it was decided to wait a day or two but when nothing was heard from the men on Saturday and Sunday we decided to help the family members of the men. The local Cuban and Dominican authorities were informed of their concerns. [. . .]

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