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No survivors found in searches after deadly shipwreck

About a dozen people managed to swim to safety after the accident.

Image: stock photo via Shutterstock

Updated 6pm

TWENTY-ONE MIGRANTS died and around a dozen more were missing after their boat sank off the north coast of Haiti.

Haiti’s civil protection directorate chief Marie Alta Jean-Baptiste said those on board the ship, around 50 people, had been trying to reach Providenciales Island in the neighboring Turks and Caicos.

No survivors

The ship — which left at about midnight — had attempted to return after running into bad weather, but sank off the coast in the early hours yesterday

The US Coast Guard said today it had found no survivors in its ongoing search.

There were about 50 people on board the ship, which had attempted to return to Haiti after running into bad weather.

A rescue helicopter conducted a flyover at daybreak in the area where the wreck occurred, at the request of Haitian authorities.

The helicopter crew “conducted a first light search Friday morning, searching between Cap-Haitien, Haiti and Port-de-Paix, Haiti, but did not find anything,” the US Coast Guard said in a statement.

Coast Guard Captain Mark Fedor said teams would continue the search but “the sad truth remains that many have already perished.”

The Coast Guard urges all to reconsider taking the dangerous and illegal voyage at sea.
Our condolences go out to all affected by this tragedy.

The bodies of 21 people were found washed ashore on the shore in the town of Borgne, west of Cap-Haitien, the Caribbean country’s second-largest city.

Twelve people managed to swim to safety after the accident, Jean-Baptiste said.

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Authorities helped by local fisherman were searching for around a dozen people unaccounted for, Jean-Baptiste added.

In Haiti, an impoverished country where more than 70 percent of the population lives on less than $2 a day, residents regularly attempt to illegally reach Turks and Caicos or the Bahamas.

Haitian authorities have tried to put a stop to the flow of illegal migrants, but soaring unemployment has led many Haitians, notably the young, to try to build a future elsewhere.

- © AFP 2015.

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