SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Coast Guard rescue crews are responding Thursday to a mass rescue case of Haitians in the water from a capsized vessel suspected of taking part in an illegal voyage, approximately 10 nautical miles north of Desecheo Island, Puerto Rico.
Coast Guard watchstanders received a communication at approximately 11:47 a.m. Thursday reporting that the aircrew of a Custom and Border Protection aircraft had sighted a capsized vessel with people in the water who did not appear to be wearing life jackets.
Officials say 11 people drowned and there are 31 survivors — 11 female and 20 male. The 11 deceased have all been recovered.
Coast Guard watchstanders directed the launch of multiple MH-60T helicopter from Air Station Borinquen and diverted the Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Tezanos to rescue possible survivors. Customs and Border Protection and Puerto Rico Police Joint Forces of Rapid Action marine units are also responding.