The lone victim of a boat that has been capsized near Florida’s coast who has survived the incident said at least 15 other migrants who were trying to hang on to the capsized vessel but couldn’t able to hold on. Some of them were desperately exhausted and hungry when they let go.
Juan Esteban Montoya Caicedo, of Colombia, while addressing a Spanish-language news conference in Fort Pierce, Florida, that the vessel was carrying a baby and other children among the group of 40 formed of Domin Haitians, Bahamians & Jamaicans. They went out for Florida from Bimini in the Bahamas on January 22.
He further added that his sister was also among the drowned group.
Meanwhile, the authorities had said that the boat got capsized shortly after departing.
Montoya, 22, was sitting next to his mother, Marcia Caicedo, as he spoke.
He added that the motor broke down during the early hours of Sunday. He said that he had asked his younger sister to pray at that hassling time, get ready to face the worst, and hold on to the boat.
A giant wave came and overturned the boat, and the two got apart.
“I somehow manage to look at her again. But as I came to her to help her, the rest of the people grabbed her. Everyone was holding on to each other, which is why she drowned,” he added.
Montoya added that a smaller group was holding on to the boat, but the group got smaller and smaller as time passed. Some of the people tried to make it till the Monday afternoon, and it would be another day before the evacuation.
“When I was all alone on the vessel, it got much harder for me to make survival possible. My health was worsening continuously, and I was suffering mentally too. Being alone on the vessel was another problem, “he added. “But I did not lose hope.”