[QODLink]
Americas
Dozens confirmed dead in Caribbean sinking
Hopes fade for further survivors from capsized boat carrying migrants from Dominican Republic to Puerto Rico.
Last Modified: 09 Feb 2012 05:48
Seventy people were aboard the 38-foot vessel when it sank early on Saturday [Reuters]

Authorities have said that at least 41 people are confirmed dead after a Dominican boat overloaded with migrants bound for Puerto Rico capsized.

The bodies were found late on Tuesday and early on Wednesday, Luis Castro, the intelligence director of the Dominican Republic's navy said.

He said crews expected to find more bodies.

Seventy people were aboard the 38-foot vessel when it sank early on Saturday.

The discoveries scuttled hopes that more people had survived the accident and gone into hiding.

"You don't have to look for them anymore. The bodies float up by themselves and can be seen from far away,'' said Samuel Hernandez, leader of a small group of volunteers from Sabana del Mar, a coastal town northeast of Santo Domingo where rescue efforts are being co-ordinated.

Crews rescued 13 people after the accident, among them David Cepeda Calcano, one of the trip's purported organisers.

Castro said Cepeda could face charges once he is released from the hospital where he is being treated for severe burns.

Survivors have told authorities that they swam as many as seven hours under a brutal sun until they were rescued at sea or reached shore.

The overloaded boat capsized shortly after departing from the Dominican Republic for Puerto Rico, creating one of the Caribbean country's worst accidents of recent years.

In July 2004, about 80 migrants died after their boat capsized, and 50 were declared missing in February 2010 after their boat disappeared.

Thousands of poor Dominican migrants, along with many Haitian and Cuban migrants, try to cross the 260-kilometre Mona Passage separating the islands of Hispaniola and Puerto Rico, which shifting tidal currents make one of the most dangerous and unpredictable areas of ocean in the Caribbean.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Muslim volunteers face questioning and threat of arrest, while aid has been disrupted or blocked, charities say.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
ISIL combatants seeking an 'exit strategy' from Mideast conflict need positive reinforcement back home, analysts say.
European nation hit by a wave of Islamophobia as many young fighters join ISIL in Syria and Iraq.
Featured
Lack of child protection laws means abandoned and orphaned kids rely heavily on the care of strangers.
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Since she was 16-years-old, Scottish Nationalist Party's Sturgeon has strove for independence from the UK.
Armed group's ransom success with German hostages marks a re-emergence, as authorities investigate ISIL links.
Western nations are moving into the resource-rich country after decades of disinterest, challenging China's interests.