Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Eleven Migrants Drown Trying To Reach US Territory

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At least 11 suspected migrants have died after their boat capsized near the US territory of Puerto Rico.

The US Coast Guard said there were 38 survivors so far – mostly from Haiti, with two from the Dominican Republic.

Interceptions of migrants in the waters of the Caribbean have spiked in the past year.

“The sea is dangerous,” said Rear Admiral Brendan McPherson from the US Coast Guard. “These ventures are dangerous.”

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The Coast Guard first learned of the capsize after the ship – which was taking part in an “illegal voyage” – was spotted by a Customs and Border Patrol aircraft about 10 nautical miles (18km) off the coast of Desecheo, an uninhabited island in Puerto Rico.

The boat’s passengers did not appear to be wearing life jackets, the Coast Guard said. The vessel is believed to have departed from the Dominican Republic.

In a statement on Thursday night, Rear Adm McPherson said they were searching for survivors with boats, helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft.

“Our highest priority is saving lives and that is what my crews will exhaust themselves doing,” he said.

The Coast Guard increased the number of survivors on Friday morning, from 31 to 38. Eight are in hospital.

The number of migrants detained in the Caribbean is increasing as more people – particularly Haitians – flee instability and poverty in their own country.

Between October and March, 571 Haitians and 354 Dominicans were detained, many in the treacherous waters of the Mona Passage between Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.

According to officials quoted by the Washington Post, the Coast Guard is now on track to intercept 15 times more Haitian migrants than it did in 2020.

The Coast Guard’s website notes that migrants intercepted at sea can be returned to their country of origin “without the costly processes required if they had successfully entered the United States”.

Thursday’s capsize comes less than a week after nearly 70 migrants were rescued by US and Dominican vessels in the Mona Passage.

The incident prompted the Coast Guard San Juan Sector’s acting commander, Jose Diaz, to warn migrants to not take to the seas.

“These voyages are highly dangerous, and could cost you your life, the life of a loved one or the lives of everyone else in the voyage,” he said.

In January, a similar capsize led to the disappearance of at least 38 people off the coast of Florida. One survivor was reported.

Source: BBC News

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Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
Our Editorial Staff at St. Lucia Times is a team publishing news and other articles to over 200,000 regular monthly readers in Saint Lucia and in over 150 other countries worldwide.

7 COMMENTS

  1. @the fox. Big difference. one is fleeing unprovoked aggression (war). The other fleeing self inflicted poorly managed “$hithole country. Canada & USA have done enough to save all the worlds peasants.

  2. Ukrainians are flown out by Jet to be housed, fed, nursed and hospitalized, schooled etc. etc. Is there a double standard here? I am of the belief that hunger is hunger, need is need, life is life. Why is the people of this hemisphere set apart from those farther away? Am I asking too mush for the poor? I am hopeful that the God above is watching.

  3. So the do gooders can welcome plane loads of Ukrainians, quickly provide housing, medical, nourishment, jobs and schooling, but the poor neighbours are turned away, back to a poverty fit only for dogs and pigs. (because of a God in Heaven, I will not curse)

  4. For many years the US oppressed these countries by implementing the Monroe Doctrine. Financial Restriction and support corrupted regime to over throw one another, alot of those people do not know what absenteeism is about which was place on their economy causing mass suffering under impoverish driven regimes, Which is now causing mayhem to people livelihood, by venturing into the most risky method hoping that the devilish implementer have a promise land awaiting them. Little that they know they will end up falling short before reaching the so called promised land.

    • Since when is it the US responsibility to be the worlds savior? Even though it has, countless times.

  5. Condolences to the families of the deceased, but producing humans and not keeping pace of an unproductive population and no government’s economic opportunity and social safety net leads to dire economic desperation; are the consequences of these unfortunate events.

Comments are closed.

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