Jamaican fishermen to return home

September 20, 2018
Johnson Smith

Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Minister Kamina Johnson Smith says the verification process has now been completed for 28 Jamaican fishermen who have been stranded in Colombia since last week. 

The men had to abandon their fishing vessel after it caught fire and subsequently sank last Thursday.

The men, some of whom suffered burns, were rescued and carried to San Andres island, off the Colombian mainland. 

"So all 28 are now cleared for repatriation to Jamaica, but regretfully, the persons who were being treated for burns cannot be released from
medical care until Friday at the earliest, so arrangements for everyone’s return have to take that timing into consideration,” Johnson Smith said in a statement today.

She added: “The safe and earliest possible return of the men is the immediate concern of the Government of Jamaica. We are working with the Colombian authorities to arrange for their safe return. We hope this will happen over the weekend”

The owner of the boat, who operates a commercial fishing company, has also been in contact with the Foreign Ministry and maintains daily contact with the fishermen and has been keeping their families informed.