11 dead, 31 injured as suspected migrant boat capsizes near Puerto Rico

At the least 11 folks had been killed and 31 rescued when a ship filled with passengers capsized north of Puerto Rico Thursday, officers stated.

Eight Haitians had been amongst these saved and hospitalized throughout a “mass rescue effort” led by the US Coast Guard.

It was unclear how many individuals had been on the capsized vessel, which was first noticed by a US Customs and Border Safety helicopter about 11 miles north of the uninhabited Puerto Rican island of Desecheo, in line with authorities.

“We’re trying to rescue as many individuals as we will and discover as many survivors as we will,” US Coast Guard spokesman Ricardo Castrodad stated, including it was lucky that officers noticed the overturned boat.

“If not for that, we’d not have identified about this till somebody would have discovered any signal or acquired studies from those that their family members are lacking,” Castrodad stated. “They discovered them early sufficient that we had been in a position to coordinate a response.”

A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter
A US Coast Guard helicopter arrives on scene after a migrant vessel capsized north of Desecheo Island, Puerto Rico Could 12, 2022.
United States Coast Guard/Handout through REUTERS

The catastrophe got here after a string of migrant boats transporting folks fleeing Haiti and the Dominican Republic capsized within the waters round Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.

On Saturday, officers rescued 68 migrants in treacherous waters between Hispaniola and the US territory. One Haitian girl died, in line with Castrodad.

Greater than three dozen migrants had been presumed lifeless off the coast of Florida in January when a smuggling boat from the Bahamas was flipped over in a storm.

Rescue craft arrive on scene after a migrant vessel capsized
Rescue craft arrive on scene after the vessel capsized.
United States Coast Guard/Handout through REUTERS

In extra of three thousand migrants from the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Cuba had been detained by the Coast Guard within the Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean within the 2021 fiscal 12 months, in line with the feds.

“These voyages are harmful,” Castrodad stated. “They’re unsafe, they’re grossly overloaded … (and) no lifesaving gear. It wouldn’t actually take a lot for any of those vessels to capsize.”

With AP wires

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