A memorial service was held in Rawson Square on Wednesday to commemorate the 43rd anniversary of the sinking of the HMBS Flamingo near Cay Santo Domingo. The Royal Bahamas Defence Force vessel was attacked by Cuban fighters while marines were apprehending Cuban poachers in Bahamian waters on May 10th, 1980.
Among those in attendance was Governor General His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Cornelius Smith, Prime Minister the Hon. Philip Davis and Chief Justice Sir Winder along with other government officials. In his remarks Prime Minister Davis told attendees, “in seeking to protect and defend the sovereignty of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas they made the ultimate sacrifice. The tragedy of this day reinforced the importance of the Defence Force illustrating why the late Sir Lynden Pindling was do adamant to establish such an agency to defend the territorial sovereignty of our country. To all marines the episode has become the sacred symbol of pride and duty. Each is keenly aware of the value of the ultimate sacrifice and of the choice to place service to country above self.”
Davis told the family members of the fallen, “as the head of this country I can assure you that we are deeply appreciative of the love and support you gave these men and the memories of them that you keep alive. As we reflect upon the four young marines whose lives were lost let us also take the opportunity today to honor the survivors of the Flamingo incident.”
Wreaths were laid in memory of the fallen, a 21 gun salute was performed and commemorative coins were given to the families of the four marines who perished and the surviving crew members.