18 illegal Haitian immigrants drown after boat capsizes

PROVIDENCIALES, Turks and Caicos Islands, Wednesday December 25, 2013, CMC – The Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force (RTCIPF) said they had recovered 18 bodies from a capsized sloop that had been transporting illegal immigrants on Wednesday.

They said the vessel with Haitian migrants, capsized as it was being towed into dock, early Wednesday morning.

The authorities said 32 people had been rescued and were now in custody at the TCI Government’s Five Cays immigration detention/removal Centre.

The RTCIPF said they had recovered 18 bodies and that the search was continuing for a handful of people who reached shore and fled the scene.

Divers and U.S. Coast Guard helicopters were assisting in a search for additional survivors or victims.

The migrants, mostly from the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince and the northern city of Cap-Haitien, had set off on their voyage on Sunday night.

They were reported to have paid between US$500-$1,000 each and were trying to reach Miami or the Bahamas as well as Turks and Caicos. Click here to receive free news bulletins via email from Caribbean360. (View sample)