There have been many sad stories about migrants in recent months – dying of thirst in the Sahara desert or drowning off the coast of Italy (see my blogs of Oct 4 and 31). In those cases, the victims were Africans, but a lot of Haitians are also desperate to leave their country, regarded as the poorest in the western hemisphere.
This week a vessel carrying migrants from Haiti capsized off the Bahamas. Up to 30 people may have been killed, and US coast guards reported 100 were clinging to the hull of the upturned boat. Rescue services have dropped food and life rafts, and a number of people have been winched up to helicopters.
In June of last year, eleven Haitians were drowned when their boat capsized also off the Bahamas, while in 2011, at least 38 died when their vessel sank off Cuba.
One of the worst incidents off recent years came in 2009 when about 70 migrants from Haiti were lost when their boat capsized off the Turks and Caicos Islands.