11 dead and 31 rescued after boat capsized in waters off Puerto Rico


At least 11 people are dead and 31 rescued after a boat capsized in waters off Puerto Rico, officials have confirmed.

It remains unclear exactly how many people were aboard the ship when it capsized, said US Coast Guard spokesman Ricardo Castrodad, who said a “mass rescue operation” was being conducted.

“We want to save as many people as possible and find as many survivors as possible,” he said on Thursday.

The overturned boat was first spotted by a US Customs and Border Protection helicopter earlier in the day.

“Without that, we wouldn’t have known about it until someone found signs or received reports from people that their loved ones were missing,” Mr Castrodad said.

“They found her soon enough for us to coordinate a response.”

Officials say eight of the rescued migrants who were taken to hospital were Haitian, although the nationalities of the others on board are not known.

The boat was spotted about 11 miles north of the uninhabited island of Desecheo, off the west coast of Puerto Rico.

It’s the latest in a string of rescue operations for people fleeing Haiti and the Dominican Republic, US officials say.

The US Coast Guard and Dominican Navy rescued 68 people in an area between Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic on Saturday.

The Coast Guard says it detained 1,527 Haitians, 838 Cubans and 742 migrants from the Dominican Republic in the most recent fiscal year that ended Sept. 30. 11 dead and 31 rescued after boat capsized in waters off Puerto Rico

Bobby Allyn

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