MIAMI (CNN) -- Rescue crews on Tuesday were combing the waters in
an area between Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic for possible
survivors after a sailboat carrying dozens of Dominican migrants capsized.
Several people were reported to have drowned, according to the U.S. Coast
Guard and Dominican Republic Navy, which conducted the search in the
Mona Passage, a strait between Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic
connecting the Atlantic Ocean with the Caribbean Sea.
Details of how the boat capsized were not immediately clear, but the Coast
Guard said as many as 70 migrants may have been on the small boat.
The Coast Guard was notified of the accident around noon on Monday by
local news media and promptly contacted the Dominican Navy to begin the
More than a dozen people swam to shore at Uvero Alto Beach, Dominican
Republic after the boat took on water. A number of bodies were recovered at
the beach by local authorities and a Coast Guard helicopter spotted others in
The Dominican Navy has an 82-foot patrol boat searching the waters and
110-foot U.S. Coast Guard cutter Grand Isle is assisting.
Earlier, two Coast Guard helicopters, a C-130 Hercules airplane and an
HU-25 Falcon jet conducted an aerial search before being called back due to
"Because of visibility, they called off the night (aerial) search," said
Soto, a Coast Guard spokesman.