Hyperthermia, dehydration may have killed 14 on Mauritanian boat

File photo: Police in Belle Garden, Tobago last month, where a boat with 14 decomposing bodies was towed ashore. - Photo by David Reid
File photo: Police in Belle Garden, Tobago last month, where a boat with 14 decomposing bodies was towed ashore. - Photo by David Reid

The findings of the autopsies on the bodies in a boat found off the coast of Belle Garden last month have been deemed undetermined.

The boat, which is believed to have been stolen, was traced to Mauritania, West Africa.

There is a strong possibility that the vessel’s 14 occupants may have died from either hyperthermia (abnormally high body temperatures) or dehydration.

Forensic pathologist Dr Eslyn Mc Donald-Burris did the autopsies last Tuesday at the mortuary of the Scarborough General Hospital.

At a news conference on Tuesday at the ACP’s office, Scarborough, Sgt Keith Roberts told reporters, “Based on the findings of Dr Burris and the post mortem, the findings were deemed undetermined, but the possibility of hyperthermia and dehydration were possibilities that she would have raised.”

Roberts said samples of the bodies from the post mortems were taken to the Forensic Science Centre, St James, for further analysis “to have a final conclusion as to the possible cause of death.”

He said the samples, which were taken to the centre on Friday, included bones, hair, muscle tissue and body fluids.

Roberts also revealed that 1,000 Swiss Francs, 50 Euro dollars and seven cellphones were found among the clothing of the deceased.

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"Hyperthermia, dehydration may have killed 14 on Mauritanian boat"

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