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At least 10 dead as boat full of Haiti migrants sinks

At least 10 Haitian migrants died when their boat sank off the coast of the Turks and Caicos Islands, officials said Monday...

Turks and Caicos Islands. Photo/smarttravel

At least 10 Haitian migrants died when their boat sank off the coast of the Turks and Caicos Islands, officials said Monday.

Rescue services managed to save 14 people when the boat went down Sunday in shark-infested waters off the archipelago, which is just southeast of the Bahamas and some 200 kilometers (120 miles) north of Haiti.

Police said there was little hope of finding any more survivors.

The authorities “are not yet in a position to say exactly how many people were on the boat. However, 10 lifeless bodies were found,” rescue officials said in a statement.

With Haiti suffering from extreme poverty, and with 60 percent of the population living on less than two dollars a day, many desperate people try to make it by boat to the Bahamas and Turks and Caicos, which is a British overseas territory.

Around 40 migrants disappeared in a shipwreck last October off the Bahamas coast. Only nine people survived.

Tens of thousands of young Haitians, unable to find work at home, have made the hazardous journey to countries in North and South America, in particular to Chile and Brazil, where securing a visa was considered to be easiest.

In the past four years, approximately 165,000 Haitians have moved to Chile, prompting the government in Santiago to introduce entry visas in April last year to stem the flow of migrants.