Body floating outside Hyatt *

The Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard is confirming the deaths of eleven Venezuelan men, women, and children who drowned on their way to Trinidad.

Nine adults and children are missing.

In a statement today, the Coast Guard said it received information from Venezuelan authorities indicating that eleven bodies had been recovered earlier that day from the waters close to the Venezuelan coastal town of Guiria.

"Preliminary information suggests that a vessel had departed Guiria on 06 December 2020 with more than twenty persons onboard. These persons have not been seen or heard from since that day.

Checks have indicated that the Coast Guard has not intercepted any vessels coming from Guiria on 06 December or any time thereafter. At this time, the Coast Guard’s Rescue Coordination Center has dispatched assets as part of a joint search effort with Venezuelan authorities."

News of the mass drownings broke in Saturday night.

The Coast Guard said it continues to provide border security services in the face of the threat of Covid-19 in order to maintain the safety and security of Trinidad and Tobago through the conduct of maritime security patrols within our area of operations.

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