At least 10 Haitian immigrants died when a sail freighter packed with more than 100 people capsized in Bahamanian waters, the U.S. Coast Guard said Tuesday in a statement.
Units of the Coast Guard and the Royal Bahamian Defense Force were still working to rescue some 100 other migrants who were hurled into the water when the boat foundered near Staniel Cay.
“The incident was reported by the Royal Bahamian Defense Force and relayed to Coast Guard 7th District command center watchstanders Monday evening. The migrants were clinging to the hull of the grounded 40-foot sail freighter when rescue crews arrived,” the statement said. Helicopters and patrol boats from both countries rushed to help the shipwrecked Haitians.
Emigration from Haiti, the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere, has increased since the January 2010 earthquake that killed 250,000 people and battered an already weak economy.