Prime Minister Bruce Golding, members of his family and friends were rescued by Jamaica Defence Force Coast Guard yesterday afternoon after a boat in which they were travelling back to the mainland ran aground off the south coast.
The prime minister and his party had spent the day on Little Pelican island which, according to a Coast Guard source, is located eight miles from Old Harbour Bay and 12 miles from Port Royal.
According to Information Minister Daryl Vaz, the outing was held in celebration of the wedding today of the prime minister’s son, Stephen, to his fiancee Emprezz Mullings.
“I got the call about the mishap between 4:30 and 4:45 pm and immediately contacted the canoes that had taken the drinks and food out there to turn back and assist the prime minister and his party,” Vaz said. “After that I called the Coast Guard, as is required, and they, along with the owners of private boats, helped with the rescue.
Vaz could not say how many people were on the outing. He was also not sure whether the pleasure boat on which they were travelling had hit a reef or a sand dune.
“They were in shallow water,” he said. “At no time was there any danger to the prime minister and his family, and we are just thankful that they are all okay.”
Efforts by the Sunday Observer last night to determine the size and name of the boat were unsuccessful. However, the newspaper was told that the vessel was larger than 50 ft.
After witnessing his son’s wedding today, Prime Minister Golding is scheduled to address the nation tonight in a national broadcast in which he is expected to give more detailed reasons for his decision to step down as leader of the ruling Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) and, after that, as head of the Government, following the election of a new JLP leader at the party’s annual conference in November.
Source: Jamaica Observer