A search and rescue operation has resumed in the Turks and Caicos Islands as authorities hold out hope of finding more survivors in an accident at sea in which at least 15 Haitians have died.
The twin-engine outboard boat was smuggling the migrants when it capsized and sank off the inhabited island of West Caicos, in shark-infested waters. Fourteen Haitians have so far been rescued.
At least four more bodies were still unaccounted for, said the United States Coast Guard which had been assisting the marine branch of the Royal Turks and Caicos Police in the search.
Acting Turks and Caicos Police Commissioner Trevor Botting said how long the search and rescue mission would continue would depend on “the number of recoveries we make over the next day or so”.
“This is a tragic loss of life. We offer our condolences and sympathies to the families of those affected by this terrible incident. No journey is worth risking lives on the dangerous seas in these small vessels,” he added.
Less than two months ago, at least 28 Haitian migrants drowned in the waters off the northern Bahamian island of Abaco when the vessel they were travelling in capsized and sank. 17 survivors were rescued in that incident.