The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade has announced that four of the twenty-eight fishermen who were rescued by the Colombian Coast Guard following a fire on their vessel last week were brought home to Jamaica this weekend.
According to Minister Johnson Smith, “four of the fishermen, who were being treated for burns in a medical facility in San Andres were released on Friday and returned safely on Saturday, September 22. The men were met and transported to the Cornwall Regional Hospital by health officials, and while we are pleased that after assessment three were released, we regret that one had to be kept for further treatment.”
The Foreign Minister also explained that arrangements continue to be made for the remaining 24 fishermen and crew members. Johnson Smith said, “The Government of Jamaica has made the necessary plans to ensure the safe return of the men during the course of this week. As I am sure the affected families and the public would understand, these matters are actually quite complex and issues like timing are affected by many different factors. My team and I at Foreign Affairs have to express our appreciation for the support of the Minister of Labour and Social Security, the Hon. Shahine Robinson, who came on board and aided our efforts to make arrangements for our nationals through the Jamaican Embassy in Bogota and our Honorary Consul in San Andres.”
The Foreign Minister indicated that the Ministry would continue to keep the public updated as appropriate and once again expressed her continued appreciation to the Colombian authorities, Ministry of Labour and Social Security, Ministry of Health, the Jamaica Defence Force and other key stakeholders for their assistance in this matter.