[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
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Nearly half of Canadians have suffered inappropriate advances on the job - and the political arena is no exception.
Featured
Women's rights activists are demanding change after Hanna Lalango, 16, was gang-raped on a bus and left for dead.
Buried in Sweden's northern forest, Sorsele has welcomed many unaccompanied kids who help stabilise a town exodus.
A look at the changing face of North Korea, three years after the death of 'Dear Leader'.
While some fear a Muslim backlash after café killings, solidarity instead appears to be the order of the day.
Victims spared by the deadly disease are reporting blindness and other unexpected post-Ebola health issues.