Coast Guard Searches for 52 Haitians After Boat Sinks

MIAMI – The Coast Guard is searching for 44 Haitians after two of the migrants were rescued by the crew of the motor yacht Worldwind yesterday morning west of the Haitian and Dominican Republic border.

The two survivors were reported to be in poor condition and were transported to a hospital in the Dominican Republic, suffering from severe burns and dehydration. The rescued migrants reported to Coast Guard officials 52 additional Haitians were aboard a sail freighter which caught fire and capsized.

Coast Guard Cutter Valiant along with two C-130 aircraft from Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater, Fla., and an HH-60 helicopter deployed to Great Inagua, Bahamas were diverted to search a 625 square-mile area north of Monti Cristi, Dominican Republic. The crew of a Liberian-flagged vessel Kemeri is assisting the Coast Guard in its search efforts, and has located eight bodies.

Statements from the two rescued migrants indicate the group of 54 left from Cap-Haitien, Haiti en route Providenciales, Turks and Caicos, but did not indicate what day they departed.

The Valiant is a 210-foot Medium Endurance Cutter based in Miami Beach, Fla.

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