The US Coast Guard says the migrants drowned after being pressured out of their boat by folks smugglers.
Not less than 5 migrants drowned and one other 66 have been rescued in an incident involving a suspected human smuggling boat close to an uninhabited island west of Puerto Rico, officers in america have mentioned.
The our bodies have been discovered on Thursday by Puerto Rico Division of Pure and Environmental Assets Park Rangers on Mona Island, the Coast Guard mentioned in a press release, including that 66 survivors together with two minors have been safely ashore.
“The smugglers principally pressured the migrants to disembark, it seems that 5 of the migrants drowned within the course of,” Jeffrey Quinones, public affairs officer for US Customs and Border Safety (CBP), informed the Reuters information company in a phone interview.
#BREAKING @USCG, @CBPCaribbean, @NatlParkService responded to a suspected migrant smuggling incident close to Mona Island, PR. Crews rescued 66 survivors & recovered 5 unresponsive individuals deserted on the island by smugglers. No experiences of lacking individuals https://t.co/odWYyTVbBP
— USCGSoutheast (@USCGSoutheast) July 28, 2022
US Coast Guard spokesman Ricardo Castrodad informed The Related Press that the boat fled the scene, and it was unclear how many individuals have been on board at the moment.
A CBP official informed the Miami Herald newspaper that most people are believed to be Haitians.
The incident is the newest in a string of lethal voyages throughout the northern Caribbean carrying principally Haitians fleeing their nation amid a spike in gang-related killings and kidnappings. Lots of the Haitians have been heading to the US.
Most attempt to enter the US by land, via the southern border with Mexico. However beginning in March 2020, the US has been imposing Title 42, a pandemic-era rule that has prevented nearly all of folks from claiming asylum on the border. Beneath the measure, many Haitians have been expelled to their crisis-stricken island on board deportation flights.
The incident got here simply days after authorities within the Bahamas recovered the our bodies of 17 migrants and rescued 25 others after their boat capsized. A prison investigation is constant.
On Could, 11 Haitian girls drowned and 38 others have been saved after their boat sank close to Puerto Rico. In the meantime in March, a picket boat carrying 300 Haitians capsized in shallow waters close to the coast of Florida, and lots of required medical consideration.
A least two Coast Guard helicopters and two patrol boats have been dispatched to the scene of the incident on Thursday, based on the Miami Herald.
Mona Island, a nature reserve, is situated between the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico and has over time been utilized by smugglers carrying folks between the 2. These on that route are usually Dominican or Haitian.
“Plenty of occasions [smugglers] depart folks on Mona Island, main them to imagine that they’re in Puerto Rico,” Joel Seijo, a spokesman for Puerto Rico’s Division of Pure and Environmental Assets informed Reuters.