ESQUIMALT, August 14, 2010 (AFP) – Hundreds of Sri Lankan Tamil migrants who arrived aboard a rusty cargo ship were in good condition after their three-month voyage, Canadian officials said Saturday. The MV Sun Sea, a 59-metre Thai-registered ship reportedly carrying as many as 490 migrants, landed in Esquimalt, British Columbia on Friday, escorted by Canadian police and navy ships.
“The people (aboard) were in fairly good health and they were fairly cooperative,” said Rob Johnston, regional executive director for the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), adding his staff had played with some of the children aboard and they appeared in good spirits.
So far, CBSA agents have processed 450 migrants, including 50 women and 50 children, but won’t provide a final number until Monday, Johnston said.
There was food and water found on the ship, including bags of rice and dried fish. Hammocks had been strung up below the ships decks and a tarp was hung on the rear of the vessel to provide additional sleeping area, Johnston said.
Twenty-seven migrants required hospital care including two pregnant women, said Dr. Richard Crow of the Vancouver Island Health Authority. Six people remain i