Coast Guard assists approximately 100 Haitians clinging to capsized sail freighter

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MIAMI — At least 10 Haitian migrants are reported dead and approximately 100 are being rescued by Coast Guard and Royal Bahamian Defense Force rescue crews 15 nautical miles southwest of Staniel Cay, Bahamas, Tuesday.

More than 100 Haitian migrants fell into the water Monday night when their overloaded sail freighter grounded and capsized off coast of Staniel Cay.

The incident was reported by the Royal Bahamian Defense Force and relayed to Coast Guard 7th District command center watchstanders Monday evening. The migrants were clinging to the hull of the grounded 40-foot sail freighter when rescue crews arrived.

A Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater, Fla., MH-60 helicopter crew attached to Operation Bahamas Turks and Caicos responded and hoisted 13 people from the water after deploying a mass rescue raft. A Coast Guard Air Station Miami HC-144 aircrew and an Air Station Clearwater HC-130 dropped food, supplies and eight additional life rafts to provide assistance.

The Royal Bahamian Defense Force launched a 108-foot patrol boat to assist with the rescue of Haitians from the overloaded sail freighter.

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