11 dead, 31 rescued after suspected migrant boat capsizes off Puerto Rico

At least 11 people were killed and 31 rescued when a boat full of passengers capsized in northern Puerto Rico on Thursday, officials said.

Eight Haitians were rescued and hospitalized in a “massive rescue operation” led by the U.S. Coast Guard.

It is unclear how many people were on board the capsized vessel, which was initially driven by a U.S. Customs and Border Protection helicopter about 11 miles north of Puerto Rico’s uninhabited island of De Secho, according to authorities. found there.

“We want to rescue as many people as possible and find as many survivors as possible,” said U.S. Coast Guard spokesman Ricardo Castrodad. Fortunately, officials found the a capsized ship.

“If it wasn’t for that, we wouldn’t know that until someone saw any signs or got reports from people that their loved ones were missing,” Castrodade said. “They found them early, and we able to coordinate responses.”

A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter arrives on May 12, 2022, after a migrant boat capsized north of the island of De Secho, Puerto Rico.
U.S. Coast Guard/Handout via Reuters

The disaster came after a series of migrant boats carrying people fleeing Haiti and the Dominican Republic capsized in waters off Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

On Saturday, officials rescued 68 migrants in dangerous waters between the island of Hispaniola and U.S. territory. A Haitian woman died, according to Castroda.

More than three dozen migrants are thought to have died off the coast of Florida after a smuggling boat from the Bahamas capsized in a storm in January.

After the vessel capsized, rescue boats arrived at the scene.
U.S. Coast Guard/Handout via Reuters

In fiscal 2021, more than 3,000 immigrants from the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Cuba were detained by the Coast Guard in the Caribbean and Atlantic, according to the FBI.

“These voyages are dangerous,” Castrodade said. “They are unsafe, heavily overloaded … (and) have no life-saving equipment. It doesn’t take much time for any of these boats to capsize.”

with AP cable

US News.

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