The Coast Guard said it learned shortly before noon that the crew of aircraft of the Customs and Border Guard Service noticed the boat and people in water, about 10 nautical miles north of Deseceo Island.
The ship is “suspected of take part in illegal navigation,” the Coast Guard said. in a news release. Jeffrey Quinones, Regional Representative for Customs and Border Protection reported that the ship left the Dominican Republic, but added that only two survivors from this Caribbean country. Among the rescued are eight Haitians. who were taken to the hospital in Aguadilla city in according to him, in the northwest of Puerto Rico.
thirty-one survivors – 11 women and 20 men – were taken to Crash Boat Beach in Aguadilla, Quiñones said.
Betsy Rivera, Press Secretary for Institute of Puerto Rico of The Forensic Service said the agency received 13 bodies as result of maritime accident. They still have neither identity nor nationality for dead. An autopsy will take place Friday and they hope to extract DNA to identify dead.
the institute was in touch with Dominican Human Rights Committee, organization they usually contact with these types of incidents to help to identify family members in neighboring island.
Growing number of migrants have made similar treacherous journeys by sea, escaping from countries where the coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated long-standing problems of poverty and violence.
According to the US Coast Guard, 1,527 Haitians, 742 Dominicans and 838 Cubans were intercepted making “illegal flights”. in Florida and the Caribbean in in year ending September 30, 2021
In Puerto Rico and the Mona Strait that separates it from the Dominican Republic, the Coast Guard and its partner agencies intercepted 53 flights between October 1, 2021 and March 31, 2022. Some 1,308 migrants, including 940 Dominicans and 298 Haitians, were detained, the Coast Guard said.
Castrodad said view of the ship that capsized on Thursday is known as “yola” – a boat with “poor design, always on water, unseaworthy and designed to attempt just get these people through in one try.”
Boats can be hard for detection, he said, so luckily customs and border guard crews spotted the emergency.