BAHAMAS: Seventeen dead bodies were recovered after a boat carrying dozens of Haitian migrants drowned near the coast of the Bahamas, authorities reported on Sunday, as more Haitian migrants continue to head towards the US to flee gang violence and economic crisis at home.
Rescue teams discovered 17 bodies, including that of an infant, and 25 other people were rescued, according to Bahamian Prime Minister Philip Davis who responded in a news conference. Davis also said that the authorities suspect the speedboat was bound for Miami.
“It is believed that the vessel capsized in rough seas,” he also added.
Police Commissioner Clayton Fernander suspects that nearly 60 people may have been on board and more people were presumed missing.
The Bahamas police said that the boat capsized some 7 miles (11 kilometres) off the island of New Providence.
The authorities also detained two people, from the Bahamas, over suspicion of the human smuggling operation. Those who drowned as well as survivors, including those missing, were all believed to be fleeing Haitians.
Immigration minister Keith Bell provided new information regarding the voyage, some of the survivors indicated that they had paid sums of money between 3,000 and 8,000 dollars for the journey.
Bell offered his condolences and said, “We mourn lives lost of those seeking a better way of life. Those here with families and friends in Haiti, encourage your loved ones not to risk their lives.”
However, the situation back home for most Haitians is quite desperate as more and more deliberately sabotage their security and life to make the perilous journey via The Bahamas to reach the US for a “better way of life”.
ALSO READ: Six People Killed, 65 Others Injured as Rainstorm Hit Jigawa Region