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8497: Two cases of would-be refugees from Haiti (fwd)
MIAMI, 27 June (AFP) - The US Coast Guard announced that on Tuesday it
repatriated 183 Haitian migrants intercepted at sea attempting to get to the
Florida coast. These migrants, who were returned to Port-au-Prince, were
picked up from a crowded 40-foot (12-metre) wooden boat west of Great Inagua
in the Bahamas on Sunday.
Since January, the US Coast Guard has repatriated 852 Haitians intercepted at
NASSAU, Bahamas, 26 June (Reuters) - Rescuers on Tuesday sought to reach six
Haitian migrants believed trapped in the hull of a wooden sloop in
shark-infested waters off Rum Cay in the Bahamas, officials said.
Eleven migrants died when the 30-foot (nine-metre) vessel with more than 90
Haitians aboard apparently hit a reef, capsized and split in half on Sunday.
Bahamas Immigration Director Vernon Burrows said tiger sharks circling the
site prevented rescuers from getting to the partly submerged boat.
Rescuers had retrieved eight of the dead -- four men and four women -- but
were unable to reach three other bodies floating in the water. The Royal
Bahamas Defence Force has sent a ship to the remote island in the hope of
finding the trapped Haitians alive.
Burrows said 76 illegal immigrants -- 68 men and eight women -- survived the
ill-fated bid to reach the United States. A Haitian man was airlifted to the
Bahamian capital Nassau for medical attention.
Deacon Travolta Strachan of Rum Cay's St. John Baptist Church said 93 people
were on a vessel designed to carry no more than 15.
"They risk their lives on the open seas because there is no food, no money
and no work in Haiti," he added....
Last week the Bahamian navy rescued 25 Haitian migrants after their vessel
ran aground near a small key north of Harbour Island. Four Haitians were
found dead on the isle.
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