Above: the Wave Knight
By the Caribbean Journal staff
A United Kingdom warship patrolled the waters between the Turks and Caicos Islands and Haiti on Sunday, following a request by the office of Turks and Caicos Governor Ric Todd.
The request came after what the Governor’s office called a “recent flurry of attempts to enter the territory illegally.”
That was led by the arrival of nearly 300 migrants from Haiti earlier this month, all of whom have been repatriated. At the end of last year, Turks and Caicos Premier Dr Rufus Ewing expressed “grave concern” over the issue of Haitian sloops in Turks and Caicos.
In a statement, Todd’s office said “the Haitian and TCI governments are working closely to prevent sloops of emigrants from even considering leaving Hispaniola.”
The ship was the Royal Fleet Auxiliary Wave Knight, which passed Salt Cay, Grand Turk and South Caicos on Sunday morning. It then looped around North and Middle Caicos and Providenciales in the afternoon.
The Wave Knight also observed and gathered information on vessels fishing the Mouchoir Bank, the UK said.
The ship is part of the Atlantic Patrol Task commitment, which includes one or more ships stationed in the Caribbean, primarily for disaster relief and interdiction of narcotrafficking.