SANTO DOMINGO – The Dominican navy rescued 62 Haitians who were aboard a sinking boat that sailed last month from Cap Haitien, Haiti’s second-largest city, naval spokesmen said.
The Haitians – 43 men and 19 women – were aboard a homemade 29-foot boat powered by an outboard engine, the navy said.
The migrants, who are in good condition, sailed from Cap Haitien, located in northern Haiti, on Feb. 16 and experienced problems “due to bad weather and the fact that they ran out of fuel,” the navy said.
Dominican sailors provided the Haitians with food, water and other assistance.
The migrants were later transferred to the immigration service, the navy said.
The Dominican Republic and Haiti share the Caribbean island of Hispaniola, with Haiti in the western portion.
Though both countries are poor, Haiti is destitute, and Haitians cross the border to do work that many Dominicans will not do, such as harvesting sugar cane.
Haitians have been the target of mob violence numerous times in recent years, and the Dominican government has been widely criticized for its treatment of the migrants.
A magnitude-7.0 earthquake hit Port-au-Prince on Jan. 12, killing some 217,000 people and leaving about 1.5 million others homeless in the Western Hemisphere’s poorest country. EFE