NASSAU, Bahamas, (Reuters) – At least 10 Haitian migrants were killed and 110 were rescued after clinging to the hull and mast of an overloaded wooden sloop that capsized in the Bahamas, U.S. and Bahamian officials said yesterday.
Rescuers were still searching for potential survivors from the 40-foot (12-meter), sail-powered coastal freighter that ran aground and capsized near Staniel Cay in the central Bahamas on Monday night, officials said.
It was unclear how many people had been aboard the ship and how many had died.
The U.S. Coast Guard said 30 migrants were reported to have died and 110 had been rescued.
A Royal Bahamas Defence Force spokesman, Lieutenant Origin Deleveaux, said that 10 passengers were confirmed dead, but confirmed that 110 had been rescued.
Thirteen severely dehydrated survivors were hoisted aboard a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter and taken to Staniel Cay for treatment, U.S. and Bahamian officials said.
Crews in U.S. Coast Guard planes and helicopters dropped 10 quick-inflating life rafts into the water to help keep the other survivors afloat until a Royal Bahamas Defence Force patrol boat could take them aboard, said Petty Officer Mark Barney, a Coast Guard spokesman in Miami.