Captain recounts gruesome discovery
By ROCHELLE E.B. GILKEN and BILL DIPAOLO
Palm Beach Post Staff Writers
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
RIVIERA BEACH — More bodies could be found following Sunday night's grisly discovery of four Haitians floating in waters near West End, Grand Bahama.
When Riviera Beach-based Gulfstream Eagle Captain Mark Rose arrived at the scene, he and his crew found two men and one woman floating near a capsized boat. One had been ravaged by a shark. They later found a fourth body floating nearby.
Correction: Because of a reporting error, The Palm Beach Post Wednesday incorrectly reported that Captain Mark Rose was with the crew of his boat, Gulfstream Eagle, when they discovered four bodies near a capsized boat off Grand Bahama. Rose's son, Jonathan, was on the boat and he relayed the information to his father, who spoke to The Post. The error occurred in a story on page 3B of the Local section.
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The boat's hull was undamaged in about 10 feet of water. That leads Rose to believe the boat tipped from crowding.
"If the boat hit the bottom, there would have been damage to the hull. There wasn't any. The water was too shallow for a big wave. My gut tells me people panicked and all ran to one side," said Rose. "God forbid there are another 35 bodies out there."
The boat was a 27-foot, white, red and black speedboat, according to the Freeport News. It said the Bahamas Air and Sea Rescue Association reported the Haitians were being smuggled into the United States.
Rose's son Jonathan dived into the water to retrieve the bodies.
The Gulfstream Eagle was on a dolphin-watching tourist excursion when it was called by the U.S. Coast Guard to investigate about 7:30 p.m. Rose's craft was about 5 miles from the boat.
The younger Rose exited the water when he saw two 12-foot tiger sharks circling. The crew waited for the sharks to leave before pulling the bodies aboard.
"He's not up to talking to anyone right now. He's pretty shook up," said Rose of his 26-year-old son. The Gulfstream Eagle is based out of Riviera Beach Marina.
BASRA officials told the newspaper they would continue searching for bodies.
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