Boat Capsize in Caribbean Sea: 5 Bangladeshis rescued
Five Bangladeshi migrants were rescued after a boat sank in the Caribbean Sea near Puerto Escondido of Colombia.
Five others have been missing since the incident, several Bangladeshis in Colombia told The Daily Star yesterday.
They said the boat carrying 18 people -- 10 Bangladeshis and eight Nepalese -- started from Colombia's Necoclí and was heading towards Capurgana through the Gulf of Urabá, the southern Caribbean coast
The boat sank after being hit by a storm.Later, on June 22 night, a group of fishermen and coastguard members rescued four Bangladeshis near Puerto Escondido.
The next day, another Bangladeshi managed to swim to the shore in the same area, said the Bangladeshi migrants in Colombia.
The coastguard was continuing the rescue operation to trace the missing victims, local media reported.
Of the five rescued, the identities of three were confirmed. They are Sahab Uddin and Omar Faruk of Amishapara of Noakhali's Sonaimuri upazila and Saidur Rahman of Sylhet.
The missing Bangladeshis are Soyeb, Badrul and Rony of Sylhet, Faysal Ahmed of Kashimpur of Noakhali's Begumganj upazila and Sheikh Didar of Amishapara.
The rescued Bangladeshis were in the custody of the Colombian immigration authorities. They are currently in San Jeronimo de Monteria Hospital.
Their condition is stated to be critical as they were in extreme heat and suffered from malnutrition, the local authorities said, adding that one of them was in a very critical state.
"They were trapped for several hours at the place where they were found. They all have signs of dehydration and one of them is in a critical condition," said the Puerto Escondido mayor.
"It was confirmed by an interpreter that these migrants were of Asian descent, more precisely Bangladeshis, who had left Necoclí for Panama," said RCCO Manuel Vargas, a representative of the municipality of Puerto Escondido.
Captain Luz Perela Gonzalbez Silva, commander of the Coast Guard station, told the local media that the rescued migrants said their boat had sunk after a crash. However, the matter has not yet been confirmed because their statements about what happened was not very clear.
"The rescued migrants did not have passports or any documents, which made it difficult to learn their full identities," he said.
Nur Islam, elder brother of Sheikh Didar, one of the missing Bangladeshis, told The Daily Star that his brother had left the country a year ago. For a long time, he worked in Suriname, a small country on the Atlantic coast. Didar had arrived in Colombia via Brazil a few days ago. The family last talked with him on Sunday when they came to know that Didar would leave for Panama the next day.
The final destination of this migration route in the Urabá Antioquia region is the United States through the Darien jungle in Panama.
Every year, several thousand migrants, including Bangladeshis, enter the United States through this route.
Some 17,668 people entered the United States through this route in 2019 and some 3,887 in 2020, according to statistics of United Nations (UN).
Ezaz Mahmud is a freelance journalist.