Bahamas detains 56 more Haitian migrants at sea

AP News
Posted: Nov 28, 2013 1:15 PM

NASSAU, Bahamas (AP) — The Bahamas military detained 56 Haitian migrants on a boat near where another migrant vessel capsized earlier this week and caused up to 30 deaths, authorities said Thursday.

The Royal Bahamas Defense Forces said the migrants were stopped near Ragged Island. They were detained Wednesday as authorities were searching for any more survivors or bodies from Monday's capsizing near Harvey Cays.

The military says about 30 migrants drowned when their boat struck ground and capsized in an area dotted with tiny islands, reefs, rocks and expanses of shallow water. Authorities have not been able to recover all the bodies.

The military said the 111 survivors of the capsizing and the 56 found near Ragged Island would be held in New Providence and repatriated. The Bahamas has detained more than 1,500 migrants this year, 90 percent from Haiti.

Haiti's ambassador to the Bahamas said the 111 Haitians were recovering from their ordeal clinging for hours to the vessel. Envoy Antonio Rodrique said the migrants were dehydrated and weak when they were rescued, and one passenger was pregnant.

The Haitian Embassy said it is waiting for a formal request from the Bahamian government to repatriate the survivors. The dead will likely be buried in the Bahamas.