[QODLink]
Americas
Migrants' bodies found off Bahamas
Three survivors found thought to include Honduran migrant smuggler.
Last Modified: 22 Apr 2008 03:14 GMT

The US is on alert for a rise in Haitian migration following recent food riots there [GALLO/GETTY file]

Rescue crews have found three survivors and recovered at least 15 bodies off the coast of the Bahamas after a ship believed to be carrying Haitian migrants capsized.
 
The survivors, including an alleged migrant smuggler, were found after fishermen heard screams before dawn on Sunday, said the US coast guard.

The six-metre boat carrying around 25 people capsized on its way from Nassau, the Bahaman capital, to Bimini in the northern Bahamas, said a woman survivor.

 

Smugglers follow that route and then often take migrants to the

The migrants appeared to be aiming for US shores and the incident happened less than 240km from Miami, said Ralph McKinney, chief petty officer with the Royal Bahamas Defence Force.

 

Two Haitian survivors, a man and a woman, were being treated at a Nassau hospital for dehydration.

 

People smuggling

 

The third survivor, a Honduran marine mechanic, was taken into police custody as the authorities investigated smuggling allegations, McKinney said.

 

The two Haitian survivors identified the Honduran as the sunken vessel's captain, said Chris Lloyd, of the Bahamas Air Sea Rescue Association.

 

Three US coast guard helicopters, the Bahamas military and its volunteer air-sea rescue service searched for more survivors on Monday, witnesses said.

 

The US coast guard has been on alert for a spike in migration following riots earlier this month over escalating food prices in Haiti, the poorest country in the Western hemisphere.

 

So far this year, 737 Haitians have been intercepted, compared to 1,583 for 2007, according to the coast guard.

 

Louis Harold Joseph, Haiti's ambassador to the Bahamas, said he had not yet received confirmation that everyone who died was Haitian.

 

He expressed doubts that the voyage was connected to the Haitian food riots, in which at least seven people died.

 

Survivors described the capsized vessel as a fast boat, suggesting the migrants had more money than others who make the perilous crossing jammed on board makeshift vessels.

 

Last year, a migrant boat capsized near the Turks and Caicos islands, pitching Haitians into shark-infested waters and killing at least 61 people.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
Country
Featured on Al Jazeera
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Featured
Anti-government secrecy organisation struggling for relevance without Julian Assange at the helm.
After decades of overfishing, Japan is taking aim at increasing the number of bluefin tuna in the ocean.
Chinese scientists are designing a particle-smashing collider so massive it could encircle a city.
Critics say the government is going full-steam ahead on economic recovery at the expense of human rights.
Spirits are high in Scotland's 'Whisky Capital of the World' with one distillery thirsty for independence.
join our mailing list