The US Coast Guard says the migrants drowned after being compelled out of their boat by folks smugglers.
No less than 5 migrants drowned and one other 66 had been rescued in an incident involving a suspected human smuggling boat close to an uninhabited island west of Puerto Rico, officers in the US have stated.
The our bodies had been discovered on Thursday by Puerto Rico Division of Pure and Environmental Assets Park Rangers on Mona Island, the Coast Guard stated in an announcement, including that 66 survivors together with two minors had been safely ashore.
“The smugglers principally compelled 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), advised 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 reviews of lacking individuals https://t.co/odWYyTVbBP
— USCGSoutheast (@USCGSoutheast) July 28, 2022
US Coast Guard spokesman Ricardo Castrodad advised The Related Press that the boat fled the scene, and it was unclear how many individuals had been on board at the moment.
A CBP official advised the Miami Herald newspaper that most people are believed to be Haitians.
The incident is the most recent in a string of lethal voyages throughout the northern Caribbean carrying largely 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. Underneath 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 legal investigation is continuous.
On Could, 11 Haitian girls drowned and 38 others had 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 plenty of required medical consideration.
A least two Coast Guard helicopters and two patrol boats had been dispatched to the scene of the incident on Thursday, in accordance with the Miami Herald.
Mona Island, a nature reserve, is positioned between the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico and has through the years been utilized by smugglers carrying folks between the 2. These on that route are sometimes Dominican or Haitian.
“Loads 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 advised Reuters.