The US Coast Guard continues this Friday the search for an undetermined number of missing persons after the shipwreck that occurred west of Puerto Rico, which left a provisional balance of 38 migrants rescued and 11 dead.
The spokesman for the Coast Guard in San Juan, Ricardo Castrodad, assured Efe that the rescue tasks will continue without, for the moment, a deadline for the completion of the search.
The boat, loaded with dozens of mainly Haitian migrants, capsized at a point about 10 nautical miles north of Desecheo, a small, uninhabited island about 20 miles off the west coast of Puerto Rico.
Castrodad explained that among the 38 people rescued alive —36 of Haitian nationality and 2 Dominicans— there are 8 who receive medical attention in a hospital, although their condition is not serious and they only suffer from dehydration.
The deceased officers are, for the moment, 11 migrant women of Haitian nationality, as confirmed by the prime minister of that country, Ariel Henry.
"I express my condolences to the families of the victims of this new tragedy that mourns us and plunges us into the greatest desolation"Henry stated on his official Twitter account.
The rescue tasks are led by the Coast Guard, although with the help of other agencies such as the Puerto Rico Police and the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
"At this time, the efforts of the agency continue. We are always optimistic in the hope of finding someone alive"Castrodad stressed.
The official maintained that it is difficult to determine how many people were traveling on the boat that capsized, which had a length of between 25 and 30 feet (7.5 and 9 meters), and that they prefer "don’t speculate".
"These are illegal trips and to find out the number of people we rely on the testimony of those who were on board, on what each other tells us, which is often contradictory."he pointed.
DIFFICULTY IN KNOWING THE NUMBER OF DISAPPEARED
Along the same lines, the CBP spokesman, Jeffrey Quiñones, told Efe that he could It was estimated that there were 60 people on the boatbut insisted that it is only a speculative figure.
"We do not have a reliable way of knowing how many people remain missing, as assessments can only be made based on interviews with those rescued."Held.
Of the total of 38 rescued, 30 remain in CBP custody at the Borinquen base in Agudilla, a municipality on the west coast, with the remaining 8 hospitalized.
Regarding the causes of the shipwreck, Quiñones said that the boat could capsize because it was a wooden craft boat without adequate conditions to navigate.
HELP FROM MULTIPLE HELICOPTERS
The Coast Guard maintains a helicopter in the maritime search strip that patrols the area, although there are several devices available that take turns every 6 hours, the maximum flight autonomy.
An additional National Guard helicopter arrived from the state of Florida to join the rescue efforts of one of the most serious shipwrecks that have occurred in recent years in the region.
The maritime strip known as the Mona Canal, which separates the Dominican Republic from Puerto Rico, It is a regular migration route and boats are seized every week.
In recent months, the flow of Haitian migrants using this route to try to reach the United States has increased, due to the difficulties of accessing that country by land through Mexico.