Migrant Boat Capsizes Near Haiti; 85 Missing

Some 113 saved after vessel reportedly hit reef evading police
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 28, 2009 7:35 AM CDT
   (Y. Yajima)

(Newser) – A boat carrying Haitian migrants capsized and sank off the Turks and Caicos Islands and up to 85 people are missing, the US Coast Guard says. One survivor said the boat struck a reef as it tried to elude police. Rescuers found 113 survivors stranded on two reefs and recovered two bodies, says a Coast Guard spokesman in Miami.

"Our main goal right now is just to get everybody out of the water and get medical attention for those who need it," says a Coast Guard spokeswoman. The shipwreck happened around 2pm yesterday. By late evening, Turks and Caicos authorities using small boats had rescued about 40 people stranded on a reef near West Caicos island. Many others were later found on a nearby reef, the spokesman said.