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16 Haitian Migrants Dead, 21 Rescued After Boat Capsized Off The Bahamas

 

Sixteen people have been confirmed dead after a vessel carrying Haitian migrants capsized off the coast of The Bahamas.

 

A further 21 migrants including 17 men and four women were rescued roughly seven miles from the island of New Providence on Sunday, according to immigration minister Keith Bell.

 

“We mourn lives lost of those seeking a better way of life,” Mr Bell told Reuters.

“Those here with families and friends in Haiti, encourage your loved ones not to risk their lives.”

 

The Bahamas police said the boat capsized some 7 miles (11 kilometers) off the island of New Providence.

 

The Bahamas is a frequent transit route for Haitian migrants seeking to reach the United States as they flee poverty and rising gang violence.

It comes just days after The US Coast Guard averted what may have been a disaster when it intercepted a ramshackle sailboat off the coast of Florida

Extraordinary images show at least 150 men, women and young children crowded on the boat  near Miami.

The US Coast Guard, Miami-Dade police and other law enforcement agencies were on the scene after they intercepted the sailboat on Thursday morning.

The US agencies deployed four boats to surround the ramshackle sailboat before moving closer to toss the migrants life jackets and water.

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The migrants were transferred from the ‘overloaded and unsafe sailing vessel’ to the Coast Guard cutter crews, officials said.

The Miami Fire Department transferred four people to Homestead Hospital for medical treatment.

The migrants will then be repatriated to their country of origin, the US Coast Guard said.

Local Carl Ball was fishing when he saw the overcrowded sailboat filled with people – and within minutes the agencies arrived at the scene.

‘As I went south, I saw a sailboat sideways and the sails were off to the side and an MDFR boat was next to it,’ Ball told Local 10. ‘They were standing up there on the deck.’

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