Two dead as migrant vessel capsizes near Puerto Rico

SAN JUAN — A major search and rescue operation is under way in Puerto Rican waters as the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) tries to find passengers from a migrant vessel that capsized.

The migrant vessel sank just after 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday about 300 yards from the shoreline of Camuy on Puerto Rico’s northwestern Atlantic coast.

USCG reported today that it rescued 30 survivors and recovered two bodies.

Survivors estimated that the boat was carrying between 30 to 50 passengers, the USCG said in a statement.

The Coast Guard did not say where the migrants had departed from, however, most of the people caught attempting to enter Puerto Rico at sea are from Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

Migrants often brave the treacherous Mona Passage that separates Hispaniola from Puerto Rico in search of a better life in the U.S. territory.

Between October 1, 2023, and January 12, 2024, the Coast Guard detained 745 Dominicans and 66 Haitians in the Mona Passage and waters near Puerto Rico.