U.S. Coast Guard Ends Search For Survivors Of Capsized Boat Near Puerto Rico – St. Lucia Times News

The content originally appeared on: St. Lucia Times News

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On Monday, the U.S. Coast Guard announced the suspension of a  search for possible survivors after rescuing 38 individuals and finding 11 bodies when a boat capsized near Puerto Rico.

On Thursday, rescue efforts began after a U.S. Customs and Border Protection helicopter spotted the capsized boat while on patrol.

The  vessel was carrying up to an estimated 75 people.

All eleven deceased were Haitian women, while responders rescued 36 Haitians and two Dominican Republic nationals.

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On its official Facebook page, the U.S. Coast Guard quoted Commander of the Coast Guard Sector San Juan Captain Gregory H. Magee as expressing heartfelt condolences to families, friends and loved ones of those who did not survive or remain missing.

Magee commended all the partner agency crews who responded, declaring that their bravery and actions helped save 38 people from almost certain death.

“These crews have done their utmost to ensure that if there were anymore survivors, that they would have had the best chance to be rescue,” the senior Coast Guard official stated.

Magee observed that, unfortunately, as the threat of illegal voyages continues, the Coast Guard could have to respond to similar events in the future.

“The dangers of these voyages are real, we see them everyday, people aboard grossly overloaded makeshift boats taking on water in high seas with little or no lifesaving equipment. These people are at the mercy of ruthless smugglers who are not concerned with their lives or safety. To anyone thinking of taking part of an illegal voyage, don’t take to the sea! It could just save your life,” he noted.

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