WEST PALM BEACH, Fla., May 15 (UPI) -- The U.S. Coast Guard said it called off the search for survivors of a sunken vessel off the Florida coast that was carrying at least 25 Haitian migrants.
The Coast Guard said 16 people were rescued after the vessel sank Wednesday in the Atlantic off the coast of Florida's Brevard County and nine people are believed dead after the search was ended Thursday night, The Miami Herald reported Friday.
Authorities said 11 of the survivors are being detained on a Coast Guard cutter, two are being held by U.S. immigration authorities and three others have been taken to Palm Beach County, Fla., hospitals.
''This tragedy is a sad reminder of the hopelessness and desperation facing the Haitian people," Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Fla., said in a statement. "Until the United States takes decisive action, Haitians will continue to risk their lives."
Authorities said the victims are believed to have left the Bimini district of the Bahamas in an overcrowded boat. The identities of the survivors and the victims have not been released.