05/04/2007 Haitian migrants (Turks and Caicos) ***Fatal***

Shark Attack Survivors News Archive for Shark Attacks in 2007.
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05/04/2007 Haitian migrants (Turks and Caicos) ***Fatal***

Post by sharkbait »

Sharks attack missing migrantsFrom correspondents in Haiti

May 05, 2007 07:49am

AT least 22 people died and dozens more were missing after a sailboat packed with Haitian migrants capsized today in shark-infested waters while being towed by a police boat, the US Coast Guard reported.

Several of the bodies reportedly appeared to have been chewed up by sharks.

"Those are the reports provided by Turks and Caicos police," the force which was towing the boat, said US Coast Guard (USCG) spokesman Luis Diaz.

The waters off the Atlantic archipelago are teeming with sharks.

The USCG initially assisted police in the British overseas territory in searching for about 56 Haitians reported missing, but was eventually told its help was no longer needed, said Diaz.

A total of 73 people were rescued and 22 bodies were spotted after the boat capsized early today about 800 metres off Providenciales, one of the Turks and Caicos islands. The USCG said the vessel capsized as it was being towed ashore.

The ill-fated boat, which measured between 7.5 and nine metres, was apparently headed for the United States, 900 km away, with about 150 people aboard.

Every year, hundreds of Haitians fleeing their impoverished and violence-torn nation in search of a better life make the illegal sea voyage aboard often overcrowded boats.

Since 2001, a total of almost 400 people have been reported dead or missing at sea as they sought to travel from Haiti, Cuba and the Dominican Republic to the United States.

In March, a USCG crew recovered five bodies after a boat with 56 Haitians aboard caught fire and capsized off the Dominican Republic.

http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/ ... 63,00.html

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Post by sharkbait »

Search suspend for missing 40 Haitian migrants, 36 dead

6 May 2007

SOUTH DOCK, Turks and Caicos Islands - The US Coast Guard suspended its search for more than 40 missing Haitian migrants after local authorities said it was no longer needed as hopes faded of finding more survivors.

Several boats and helicopters belonging to the Turks and Caicos, near where the boat sank Friday, continued to search the turquoise Caribbean waters on Saturday. But police Inspector Sharon Whitaker said the island may also suspend its search early Sunday if no more survivors or bodies are found.

Roughly 160 Haitian migrants were packed aboard a 25-foot (7.6-meter) boat when it ran into stormy weather before dawn Friday off the coast of this British territory. Thirty six people _ 23 women and 13 men _ were confirmed dead in addition to the more than 40 missing.

Searchers found no survivors or bodies on Saturday, dimming hopes for the rescue effort.

US Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd Class Barry Bena told The Associated Press on Saturday that Turks and Caicos authorities asked the US Coast Guard to suspend its search, apparently because they believed the likelihood of finding more survivors was very slim.’

But Turks and Caicos Premier Michael Misick said his government would use all the resources at our disposal to ensure that all bodies are recovered.’

A survivor said the migrant ship sank after passengers panicked and shifted to one side, overturning the vessel and spilling most of the passengers into the shark-infested waters. At least three of the bodies fished from the water on Friday had been attacked by sharks, and some had limbs chewed off, Duncan said.

But Turks and Caicos police initially notified the US Coast Guard early Friday that the Haitian sloop capsized while a police boat was towing the intercepted vessel to shore, according to Bena.

It was not immediately possible to reconcile the differing accounts of the sinking.

Three British investigators will conduct interviews with all concerned including the 78 survivors,’ according to Misick’s statement. He did not say if this was simply government protocol in the islands, which are largely self-governing but defer to Britain in issues of defence, security and foreign affairs.

Duncan said the confirmed death toll rose to 36 when authorities found four bodies in the hold of the capsized sloop after it was towed back to port on the territory’s main island of Providenciales, about 120 miles (190 kilometers) north of Haiti.

Every year, hundreds of Haitians set off in rickety boats, fleeing economic and civil disorder in the Western Hemisphere’s poorest nation in hopes of finding a better life by sneaking into the United States or Caribbean islands such as the Turks and Caicos.

The capsized boat departed Cap-Haitien in northern Haiti on Wednesday and was headed toward the Turks and Caicos, although it was unclear whether that was the migrants’ final destination or merely a stop.

So far this year the US Coast Guard has intercepted 909 Haitians, compared to 769 during all of 2006 and 1,828 in 2005. During turbulent 2004, 3,078 were interdicted.

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArti ... may152.xml

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Post by sharkbait »

Boat flips in shark-infested water; dozens missing

Story Highlights• U.S. Coast Guard: Survivors say 150 Haitian migrants on boat that capsized
• About 20 bodies found, some partially eaten by sharks, Coast Guard says
• Police boat from the Turks and Caicos Islands rescues 63 migrants
• Coast Guard helicopter searching for missing migrants

SOUTH DOCK, Turks and Caicos Islands (AP) -- A boat filled with Haitian migrants capsized Friday, flinging people into shark-infested waters.

Hours after the sailing vessel overturned in moonlit waters a half-mile (less than a kilometer) from shore, rescuers had recovered more than a dozen bodies -- some with savage bite wounds -- and were searching for about 60 missing people.

A Turks and Caicos police boat picked up 63 survivors, and a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter spotted 10 more clinging to the overturned vessel and guided in another boat to get them, said Petty Officer Third Class Barry Bena. The Coast Guard sent a cutter and a C-130 plane to join the search.

"We have 17 confirmed dead," a Turks and Caicos official told The Associated Press as bodies were being delivered to South Dock, the main commercial port of this British territory. "Five or six small boats of ours are out searching. The survivors are being fed."

The Coast Guard said its helicopter reported spotting about 20 dead. An AP reporter saw about a dozen bodies, some with missing feet and limbs.

It could become the worst disaster in years to hit Haitian migrants, who jam into boats to attempt the treacherous journey. Every year, Haitians by the hundreds set off in rickety boats hoping to escape poverty by sneaking into the U.S. The boat that overturned Friday was about 25 feet (7.6 meters) long and carried 150 people.

"When it's done that way it takes almost nothing for a disaster to occur," Bena said in a telephone interview from Miami. "A strong wind or a sea swell or people moving around can capsize a boat in an instant."

The Coast Guard said the migrant vessel capsized while being towed by a Turks and Caicos police boat at 4:30 a.m., but local authorities said the police boat arrived on the scene after the accident.

Survivors were taken to a detention center on Providenciales, the island that is the urban center of the Turks and Caicos and features an 18-hole golf course, resort hotels, bars and restaurants.

There is a sizable community of illegal Haitian immigrants on Providenciales, and it was not immediately clear if those aboard the boat were headed here or to the United States -- the more common destination.

The number of Haitians intercepted by the Coast Guard has increased recently, despite the restoration of democracy to Haiti last year with the election of President Rene Preval. Preval replaced an interim government that took over after a bloody rebellion overthrew President Jean-Bertrand Aristide in 2004.

Preval has used the help of U.N. peacekeepers to crack down on gangs that were behind a kidnapping epidemic in the capital and is seeking foreign investment to help boost the economy. But the numbers of Haitians trying to reach the U.S. show that many people don't wish to wait while he tries to transform the Western Hemisphere's poorest nation.

This year, the Coast Guard has intercepted 909 Haitians, compared to 769 intercepted during all of 2006 and 1,828 in 2005. During turbulent 2004, 3,078 were interdicted.

Jean-Robert Lafortune, chairman of the Haitian-American Grassroots Coalition in Florida, said Haiti's economic struggles and its political instability are too much for many people.

He said Friday's tragedy underscored "one of the greatest fears that we always have in the community -- knowing that many of those refugees do not make it in their attempt to make the Florida shore."

http://www.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/americas/ ... index.html

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