When crews arrived on the scene, 10 migrants were clinging to the hull of the capsized motorboat and another survivor was trapped underneath. One of the survivors was a 15-year-old girl. Four women were killed when the vessel violently flipped.
After an extensive search, Coast Guard officials said they were confident that everyone aboard the 25-foot boat had been accounted for.
“It was difficult to ascertain truly how many people were on this overloaded vessel,” said Commander Darren Caprara. “It was a very, very dangerous voyage. Fifteen people on a 25-foot boat is a lot.”
The executive director of Haitian Women of Miami, Marleine Bastien, said her organization was prepared to help grieving family members.
“We are gravely concerned by the increased number of Haitian refugees who are risking their lives in search of a safe haven,” Bastien said. “Historically, this push to leave Haiti is the result of increased uncertainty in the nation and political instability. Our hope is that our leaders get their act together to stabilize [Haiti] and uphold the human rights of those clamoring for change.”
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