Statement by Prime Minister, Honourable Gaston Browne, on a boat tragedy which left Antigua and Barbuda illegally

Editorial Staff

Editorial Staff

JOHN’S, Antigua and Barbuda – March 28, 2023….…   The following Statement was issued today by Prime Minister, Honourable Gaston Browne, on a boat tragedy which left Antigua and Barbuda illegally.

“On behalf of my government and myself, I express deep sorrow at the loss of life and distress suffered by persons aboard a vessel which left Antigua and Barbuda illegally earlier today, Tuesday 28 March for an unknown destination, and which capsized in the open sea.

While reports are still sketchy, we understand that the majority of persons on board the vessel may be Africans who were part of those who arrived here as tourists but with the intention of migrating to other countries.

It is widely known that my Government has been making every effort to be helpful to these brothers and sisters from Africa who were marooned on Antigua, including by granting them residence and the opportunity to work. We have also been engaged with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees  and the International Organisation for  Migration on the best ways of treating them as refugees.

Two things appear clear from today’s tragic events. The first is that the Africans on board the vessel wanted to leave Antigua and Barbuda for another country.  The second is that the owners and operators of a vessel in Antigua and Barbuda facilitated their transport on an illegal journey.

My government will launch a full investigation into the circumstances of this unlawful and dreadful affair, including the involvement of any citizens and residents.

We will also uphold our international obligations against human trafficking and illegal migration by strengthening our domestic institutions and enhancing our cooperation with regional and hemispheric partners.

In the meantime, my Government will also continue to offer refuge in Antigua and Barbuda to the survivors of today’s events, and we will make appropriate arrangements for the burial of the deceased. We will also make every effort to contact their relatives to advise them of this heart-breaking tragedy.

We appeal to the Africans, who are in Antigua and Barbuda, not to be tempted into any schemes such as happened today, but to work with the Government, through our Immigration authorities, to help find acceptable solutions to their circumstances.

All of the facts surrounding today’s calamity are not yet known.

However, I know that we all want to understand what occurred and to take action to ensure it does not happen again.

My Government will further advise of all these circumstances as soon as we receive more and better particulars.”


  1. Man on the sea

    Gaston u should start investigating yourself

  2. Anonymous

    Thanks to the Prime Minister and his government, we need each other in this world

    • Anonymous

      Gaston Browne needs to live in a real world. The Africans do not want to be in Antigua hence the reason for them to find anyways and desperate attempts to leave the country. Stop being so hypocritical . Even if your government accommodate them, they are still gonna find ways and means to leave the country.

  3. Fidelis Mofor

    No news on brother.
    Writ it new.
    Dear Mr Minister,

    Thanks for your words. My Brother was in the Boat tragedy todaymorning. We are struggling to get any information to know whether he is alive.
    His Nam are: Mofor Verdo.

    Thank you for your time. We will be very happy with any helpful information.

    Best regards
    Fidelis Mofor

    Dear Honorable Minister,

    I hope this letter finds you well. I am writing to you in great distress regarding a recent tragedy that occurred this morning. My brother, Mofor Verdo, was on the boat that was involved in the incident, and we have been unable to obtain any information regarding his well-being.

    I would like to extend my gratitude to you for taking the time to read this letter, and I would be immensely grateful if you could provide us with any helpful information that may aid us in locating my brother or confirming his safety.

    Thank you once again for your attention to this matter, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Fidelis Mofor

  4. Anonymous

    This is sad… don’t ever allow Antigua to have any blood stain on it citizens. Otherwise we will suffer .


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