Boat Capsizes Killing Dozens of Haitian Migrants

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Nov. 26 2013 6:04 PM

Boat Capsizes Killing Dozens of Haitian Migrants

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In this handout image provided by the U.S. Coast Guard, approximately 100 Haitians sit on the hull of the 40-foot sail freighter.

Photo by U.S. Coast Guard via Getty Images

A 40-foot sailboat thought to be carrying more than 100 Haitian migrants capsized Monday night off the coast of the Bahamas killing at least 30 people. The boat, which ran aground, had been at sea for 9 days when it capsized leaving survivors clinging to the side of the boat for hours awaiting rescue. A Coast Guard helicopter first arrived at the scene, according to the New York Times, and had this report:

Ten bodies in the water could be seen from the helicopter, along with 30 people in the water and up to 60 clinging to the boat. Thirteen people were hoisted onto the helicopter. During the night, the Coast Guard dropped food, water and eight life rafts.
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By late Tuesday afternoon, according to the Associated Press, the Coast Guard had rescued about 110 people. The accident, the New York Times reports, is “the latest in a series of shipwrecks involving Haitian migrants, who pay smugglers to ferry them across dangerous waters to the United States in boats that are often unseaworthy.”

Elliot Hannon is a writer in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter.