May 22, 2022

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At least 11 people have been killed after a boat carrying migrants sank near Puerto Rico. News Univision United States

Passenger loaded boat It capsized north of an uninhabited island near Puerto Rico And confirmed 11 died and 31 were rescued On Thursday (11 women and 20 men), officials said.

Do not It was immediately known how many people were on board The U.S. Coast Guard spokesman Ricardo Castrodat said the ship had capsized. He said “massive rescue operations” were still underway.

“We are looking to rescue as many people as we can and find as many survivors as we can,” he said.

At least Eight Haitians were taken to hospital and two survivors were originally from the Dominican Republic.It was not immediately clear what country everyone on board was from.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesman Jeffrey Quiñones said the ship had left the Dominican Republic and headed west for Puerto Rico.

Quinones said the boat was full of water, according to settlers’ accounts, and that the occupants tried to remove the water from the boat with shovels. He said it was not uncommon on ships like this because ships were often “offshore”.

A U.S. Customs and Border Protection helicopter spotted the capsized boat Thursday morning.

“If it were not for that, We would not have found out about this until someone found some sign Or they may have received reports from the public about the disappearance of their loved ones, ”said Castrodat. “They figured out in advance that we could integrate a response.”

A wave of shipwrecks in recent months

This is the latest in a series of shipwrecks in the region as migrants from Haiti and the Dominican Republic flee from violence and domestic poverty.

On Saturday, the U.S. Coast Guard and The Dominican navy rescues 68 migrants on Mona route, A dangerous area between Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. Castrodat said a woman from Haiti had been killed.

“These trips are dangerous,” Castrodat said. “They are insecure, overburdened … (and) they have no life-saving equipment. It will not take long for any of these ships to capsize. “

Between October 2021 and March 20, 571 Haitians and 252 Dominican Republicans were arrested in waters around Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands, according to the Customs and Border Protection Department. Most of them Haitians, 348 of them, landed on the uninhabited island of Mona in Puerto Rico and were rescued.

They were in fiscal year 2021 310 Haitians and 354 Dominicans were arrestedCompared to the 22 Haitians and 313 Dominicans detained in FY20.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Coast Guard said he was detained for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30. 1,527 Haitians, 838 Cubans and 742 Dominicans In a region that includes Florida and the Caribbean.

Since then, the number of boat trips has increased, officials say.