30 Haitian Migrants Dead After Boat Capsizes

The Coast Guard was helping in the rescue

By Lisa Orkin Emmanuel
|  Wednesday, Nov 27, 2013  |  Updated 7:49 AM EDT
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At least 10 Haitian migrants were reported dead and 100 others were being rescued southwest of the Bahamas, the U.S. Coast Guard said.

At least 10 Haitian migrants were reported dead and 100 others were being rescued southwest of the Bahamas, the U.S. Coast Guard said.

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A total of 30 Haitian migrants were reported dead on Tuesday and about 110 others were rescued southwest of Bahamas after their overloaded boat capsized, the U.S. Coast Guard said.

The sail freighter they were on grounded and then capsized about 15 nautical miles southwest of Staniel Cay in the Bahamas on Monday night.

"The winds where whipping upwards of 40 knots out of the southeast, a lot of heavy rain showers were in the area and people were scattered throughout - on top of the boat around the boat swimming to life rafts. It was a bit of a melee," said Coast Guard Lt. Kevin St. Cloud.

The incident was reported by the Royal Bahamian Defense Force and relayed to the Coast Guard. They were clinging to the hull of the 40-foot sail freighter when rescue crews arrived on scene.

The freighter hit a sandbar and didn't fully submerge under water.

"The migrants on board looked like they were in a bad way. A lot of them were desperately clinging on to the vessel," said Lt. Steve Simpson.

A Coast Guard helicopter from Clearwater responded and hoisted 13 people from the water.

They also dropped food, supplies and eight life rafts. The Bahamian defense force launched a patrol boat to help rescue the Haitians.

 

 

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