2009 Turks and Caicos Islands migrant shipwreck
The 2009 Turks and Caicos Islands migrant shipwreck was the loss near the Turks and Caicos Islands of a boat carrying migrants from Haiti late on the night of 26 July 2009. Sixty-five persons are still missing; earlier figures of 79 missing migrants were reduced as bodies were recovered. At least fifteen corpses have thus far been located.
The boat spent three days at sea before it capsized. One survivor said the craft ended up on a reef while attempting to escape a patrolling police vessel. A Turks and Caicos police sergeant confirmed that the boat hit Molasses Reef near West Caicos. Of the 124 people who were rescued, 102 were male; 22 were female. Several severely injured migrants were helicoptered to a hospital in Providenciales. Many were brought ashore aboard small boats, whilst five migrants were located alive and well after seemingly having swum to safety.
The incident was reported to the United States Coast Guard by authorities from Turks and Caicos. A spokesperson for the Coast Guard said they rescued 113 migrants and were assisting in the search for those who were still missing. He said they were "hopeful" of finding more missing migrants alive but that "it has been a night and we have not located any additional people". A helicopter and a cutter were also sent by the United States.
An investigation is underway to determine the cause. The boat had no motor. Hubert Hughes, Turks and Caicos Deputy Police Commissioner, claimed police had not been chasing the boat and only assisted when it became apparent that it had gotten into trouble.
Repatriation of Haitians was commenced immediately. The incident followed the interception of 124 Haitian migrants from what was described as a "grossly overloaded" boat that was travelling southwest of this incident. Those migrants were quickly returned to Haiti.
- 2009 Mediterranean Sea migrant shipwreck
- Haitian immigration to the United States and Canada
- Illegal immigration to the United States
- Reuters (2009-07-28). "Haitian migrant shipwreck kills 15, dozens missing". Reuters. Retrieved 2009-07-28.
- Reuters (2009-07-28). "79 missing after Haitian shipwreck". Toronto Star. Retrieved 2009-07-28.
- "Many missing as Haiti boat sinks". BBC. 2009-07-28. Archived from the original on 28 July 2009. Retrieved 2009-07-28.
- "VESSEL CAPSIZES WITH 200 ON BOARD". Daily Express. 2009-07-28. Retrieved 2009-07-28.
- Associated Press (2009-07-28). "Haitian boat capsizes; 113 saved, dozens missing". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 2009-07-28.[dead link]