Dominican Migrant Boat Overturns; At Least 10 Dead

Published February 5, 2012 3:27AM (EST)

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (AP) — An overloaded boat carrying migrants from the Dominican Republic overturned in the pre-dawn darkness Saturday off the coast of the Caribbean country, killing at least 10 people and leaving dozens missing, officials said.

The migrants had left from near the town of Nagua, on the country's northeast coast, and were apparently headed to the U.S. island territory of Puerto Rico, a frequent destination for migrants from the Dominican Republic.

Rescue teams from the country's Civil Defense Department and volunteers were searching by air and sea in Samana Bay for any signs of survivors.

Authorities had rescued nine people and some said there were as many as 60 people on board, according to Jeffrey Pimentel, a fire chief in Samana Province. The bodies of 4 women and six men had been recovered.

Thousands of Dominican migrants try to reach Puerto Rico as illegal immigrants in open boats that are ill-suited to the treacherous journey.

By Salon Staff

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