Not less than 17 individuals believed to be Haitian migrants had been killed early Sunday when an alleged human-smuggling speedboat they had been on capsized within the Bahamas, officers mentioned.
Bahamian Prime Minister Philip Davis mentioned at a information convention that 25 different individuals on board the ship had been rescued and as of Sunday afternoon, the seek for others who had been nonetheless untraceable.
Davis mentioned there have been about 60 individuals on board when the boat capsized. He mentioned the ship’s vacation spot was Miami.
Officers mentioned the Royal Bahamas Protection Pressure responded to the sound of the boat capsizing at round 1:30 p.m. Officers mentioned search and rescue groups discovered the vessel about seven miles off the coast of New Windfall, essentially the most populous island within the Bahamas.
Davis mentioned the passengers on the boat had been believed to be Haitian immigrants. The ship capsized alongside a well-liked route for Haitian immigrants making an attempt to enter the USA.
Bahamian Police Commissioner Clayton Fernander mentioned two individuals had been taken into custody on suspicion of being human traffickers.
“We take this chance to strongly condemn the group of smuggling operations that endanger human lives and compromise our nationwide safety,” Davis mentioned.
Fernander mentioned preliminary investigations confirmed that the twin-engine speedboat took off from the docking facility in New Windfall at round 1 a.m. and capsized a short while later.
He mentioned one passenger was discovered alive below the hull of the boat and officers imagine he escaped after discovering an air pocket.
The Royal Bahamas Protection Forces launched a photograph exhibiting the capsized ship’s hull partially rising out of the water.
The reason for the incident is being investigated. It was not clear whether or not anybody on board was carrying a life jacket.
The tragedy got here after US Customs and Border Safety officers and the Miami-Dade Police Division on Thursday intercepted a sailboat carrying 150 migrants that capsized in Boca Chita Key close to Biscayne and Biscayne Nationwide Parks, officers mentioned. Had occurred. Officers mentioned that many youngsters had been additionally amongst these rescued.
In keeping with the Coast Guard, US Coast Guard personnel additionally responded to the incident in Boca Chita Key and gave migrants life jackets earlier than being transferred to cutters and people in want of remedy to Homestead Hospital.
Since October, the US Coast Guard has reported that it has intercepted and turned again greater than 6,100 Haitian migrants making an attempt to achieve the USA.
In January, 34 Haiti migrants had been killed when a human trafficking boat capsized within the Straits of Florida. The Coast Guard mentioned in an announcement that the one individual to outlive was discovered caught to the hull of the ship. In keeping with the Coast Guard, the survivor informed investigators that nobody on the overturned ship was carrying a life jacket.
The devastating results of pure disasters and political instability have brought on many Haitian migrants to flee their nation, leading to financial conflicts.