The bodies of 17 Haitian migrants were found dead and 25 others were rescued at sea in a rescue operation that continued on Sunday after a ship sank off the Bahamas, Bahamian authorities said. .
The boat which "would have capsized in the face of rough seas", according to the press release issued by Prime Minister Philip Davis, left the most populated island of the archipelago "with around 60 people on board".
Fifteen of the victims are women, a man and a child also lost their lives in this accident.
"It is believed that their final destination was Miami, Florida," said the head of the Bahamian government.
The Bahamas, an archipelago of 700 islets (39 of which are inhabited) located 80 km southeast of the coast of Florida and north of Cuba, are regularly used as a transit land by migrants seeking to reach the United States. .
In Haiti, a country plagued by gang crime, where nearly half the population suffers from food insecurity, many residents regularly try to reach Florida illegally by sea, often stopping in the Bahamas or the islands. Turks and Caicos, under British authority.
“I understand that the situation that many of these migrants are facing encourages them to take such great risks,” said Philip Davis, who called “however those who are considering making such a trip, not to do so”.