At least 15 dead as boat crammed with Haitians founders


PROVIDENCIALES, Turks and Caicos Islands — The U.S. Coast Guard is ready to send more choppers into the shark-infested waters off this Caribbean paradise Wednesday in search of more survivors in a tragedy that has so far claimed at least 15 lives.

Survivors say more than 200 Haitian migrants were crammed aboard a wooden sloop when it began taking water over the weekend. By late Tuesday, 118 had been rescued, U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer Jennifer Johnson said.

The agency, she said, plans to resume air rescue operations Wednesday morning as it assists teams from the Turks and Caicos in locating more Haitian migrants whose grossly overcrowded boat hit a reef near the uninhabited island of West Caicos, 100 miles north of Haiti.

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