4 Dead After Boat Capsizes Off Florida Coast

MIAMI (AP) — Four women died and 10 other people were taken into custody after a boat with more than a dozen people aboard — including Haitian and Jamaican nationals — capsized early Wednesday in the waters off South Florida.

The U.S. Coast Guard responded around 1 a.m. after a 911 call alerted authorities to an overturned recreational vessel seven miles east of Miami.

Nine people were found clinging to the hull, said Petty Officer Mark Barney.

A 10th person was taken by boat to Miami Beach, where he was treated at a hospital and released, Barney said.

The group was taken into custody and authorities were investigating whether the victims and survivors were part of a human smuggling operation.

The nine people found clinging to the hull were Haitian and Jamaican nationals, but the nationalities of the rest of the group were not immediately known, Barney said.

The bodies of four women were recovered from the water. The Coast Guard was no longer searching for more possible survivors, Cmdr. Darren Caprara said later Wednesday morning.

The survivors rescued from the water were still on a Coast Guard vessel at sea and it was unclear whether they would be brought to the U.S. or repatriated. All the survivors were in good condition, Caprara said.

Images of the vessel show a small white boat with its center console missing. It was overloaded and lacked lifejackets, Caprara said.

Migrants from Haiti, Cuba and other Caribbean countries routinely attempt to illegally enter the U.S. by reaching Florida’s coast in overloaded or unseaworthy vessels.

In the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, the Coast Guard picked up 508 Haitians and 1,357 Cubans at sea. Since the new fiscal year began Oct. 1, the Coast Guard has reported picking up 93 Haitians and 117 Cubans.

The number of migrants who die in the crossing or disappear into the community after successfully reaching shore is unknown.

Cubans who arrive in the U.S. are generally allowed to stay under the “Wet-foot, Dry-foot” policy, while those stopped at sea are usually returned home. Other immigrants do not receive the same treatment.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Comments

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More From CBS Tampa

Kids Rock Science presented by Tampa Bay Water & TECO - at MOSICome be inspired by STEM exhibits at CW44's Kids Rock Science presented by Tampa Bay Water and TECO Saturday, April 15th from 10a-2p at MOSI.
Fake News: Tips On How to Distinguish it from the Real ThingTeachers from elementary school through college are instructing students on how to decipher fact from fiction when it comes to online news, after an election season that saw made-up stories abound.

Listen Live