The U.S. Coast Guard informed on Friday that it is assisting the Haitian Coast Guard in searching for possible Haitian migrants in the water after it’s believed their sail freighter ran aground in Haitian territorial seas Wednesday.
The Coast Guard received notification Thursday evening that 17 deceased bodies washed ashore in Haiti. The Haitian Coast Guard rescued 12 survivors but advised that 19 were still missing. The Haitian Coast Guard requested U.S. Coast Guard air assets to assist with the search.
A Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk rescue helicopter crew forward deployed in Great Inagua, Bahamas, conducted a first light search Friday morning, searching between Cap Haitien, Haiti, and Port de Paix, Haiti, but did not find anything.
Capt. Mark Fedor, Coast Guard 7th District chief of response, said:
Our crews are searching with every intention to find these missing people and bring them back to their loved ones. The sad truth remains that many have already perished and the Coast Guard urges all to reconsider taking the dangerous and illegal voyage at sea.
Weather on scene was 10 knot winds, approximately five foot seas. The search continues.