Rescued boaters still at sea

After waiting in the waters outside the New Orleans port for about four days, the oil tanker that rescued six Cayman Islands boaters on 26 July has been turned back to Houston, Texas.

According to a New Orleans attorney for the tanker CPO Sweden, the vessel received orders to proceed back to Houston late Monday.

The men were supposed to disembark from the ship in Houston on Thursday, 28 July, but the ship got rerouted to New Orleans for dock space reasons, according to US Coast 
Guard personnel.

After arriving in the New Orleans area Friday, the tanker spent about four days off shore waiting for approval to come in.

That approval was 
never received.

Antonio Rodriguez, the lawyer representing the company that owns the CPO Sweden, said Tuesday that the tanker had been turned around once again with the four Caymanians and two Hondurans still aboard. He said it was hoped the craft could dock in Houston sometime Wednesday.

After that, the men still needed to be processed through US Customs and Border Protection and obtain passports from their respective consulates before coming home.

“They have to go through customs for border patrol procedures, just like anyone else,” Mr. Rodriguez said Tuesday.

“The UK and Honduran consulates are well aware of the situation and are being kept informed.”

Once ashore, Mr. Rodriguez said it shouldn’t take too long before the men are returned home.

All six boaters were on the 37-foot fishing vessel ‘Miss Janice’ when it capsized five hours after leaving the Cayman Islands on 17 June.

The boat’s captain, Travis Welcome, said all six men spent about nine days floating on an inflatable raft, eating limited food supplies and drinking rainwater before they were picked up by the CPO Sweden.

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