“We’re trying to rescue as many individuals as we will and discover as many survivors as we will,” he mentioned.
A U.S. Customs and Border Safety helicopter noticed the overturned boat late Thursday morning.
“If not for that, we might not have identified about this till somebody would have discovered any signal or obtained stories from those that their family members are lacking,” Castrodad mentioned. “They discovered them early sufficient that we have been capable of coordinate a response.”
The boat was noticed greater than 11 miles (18 kilometers) north of the uninhabited island of Desecheo, which is off Puerto Rico’s west coast.
The incident was the newest in a string of capsizings throughout the area as migrants from Haiti and the Dominican Republic flee violence and poverty of their nations.
On Saturday, the U.S. Coast Guard and Dominican navy rescued 68 migrants within the Mona Passage, a treacherous space between Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. One lady believed to be from Haiti died, Castrodad mentioned.
“These voyages are harmful,” Castrodad mentioned. “They’re unsafe, they’re grossly overloaded … (and) no lifesaving gear. It wouldn’t actually take a lot for any of those vessels to capsize.”
Within the fiscal yr that ended Sept. 30, the Coast Guard mentioned it apprehended 1,527 Haitians, 838 Cubans and 742 folks from the Dominican Republic within the area, which incorporates Florida and the Caribbean.
Since then, journeys of human smuggling boats have solely elevated, authorities say.
In January, the Coast Guard looked for a minimum of 38 folks lacking off Florida’s coast after a suspected human smuggling boat that had left the Bahamas capsized in a storm. A sole survivor was reported.
Lots of of Haitians have arrived in Florida alone in latest months after swimming ashore.
Haiti is scuffling with a surge in gang-related violence that has killed dozens of individuals, together with girls and kids, and triggered 1000’s of households to flee their houses. Kidnappings even have spiked, together with these of eight Turkish residents who on Sunday have been compelled off a bus they’d boarded within the Dominican Republic.
Kidnappings within the nation of greater than 11 million folks have elevated 180% and homicides are up 17% prior to now yr, based on the United Nations, which final week expressed concern over “the fast deterioration of safety and human rights” in Haiti.
Many have criticized the administration of U.S. President Joe Biden for deporting greater than 20,000 Haitians in latest months given the nation’s deepening turmoil.