Above: Marsh Harbour in Abaco
By the Caribbean Journal staff
A boat carrying Haitian migrants heading for the United States from the Bahamas has capsized, killing at least 11 people.
The boat reportedly sank off the coast of North Abaco.
According to Bahamian authorities, 11 bodies were recovered from the ocean; five people have made it to safety.
The US Coast Guard has been assisting in the search for the missing 10 occupants, which reportedly includes five children.
Haitian President Michel Martelly expressed his “sincere condolences” to the families and relatives of the victims in a statement from the National Palace.
He urged Haitian citizens to “avoid putting themselves at risk” by using illegal channels to travel to foreign soil.
The Royal Bahamas Police Force, Defence Force, the US Coast Guard and others responded to a call received Monday afternoon at the Marsh Harbour Police Station.
According to reports, the boat’s journey began on Sunday in Abaco, with Florida as a final destination.
The boat was between 25 and 30 feet long, according to the Royal Bahamas Police Force.
Search was suspended Monday night and resumed Tuesday morning.
The US Coast Guard could not be reached for comment.