A Royal Netherlands Navy ship en route to Key West, Florida, on a
counternarcotics mission came across the overturned vessel 75 miles
northeast of West Palm Beach and alerted the Coast Guard.
Seven survivors, yet to be identified, were found and will be kept
offshore on a Coast Guard ship for "up to a couple days" while
they're interviewed by border patrol agents, said Coast Guard
spokeswoman Sabrina Laberdesque.
Another Coast Guard spokeswoman said the boat was carrying at least
12 people and that a Coast Guard cutter on Friday continued to
search the surrounding waters.
Once the survivors are identified, border patrol agents will decide
whether to return them to their home country, Laberdesque added.
Migrants from Haiti, Cuba and other Caribbean countries frequently
sail through the Bahamas to reach the Florida coast, often in
overloaded and unseaworthy vessels.
Miami is more than 600 miles from Haiti's northern coast, where such
voyages frequently begin.
[to top of second column]
Eighteen Haitians lost their lives this past Christmas Day near the
Turks and Caicos when their boat capsized as officials towed it into
In November 2013, at least 30 Haitian migrants drowned when their
overloaded boat capsized off the southern Bahamas.
(Reporting by Zachary Fagenson; editing by Steve Orlofsky)
[© 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2014 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.