- POSTED: 31 Jan 2014 09:30
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About 20 Haitian migrants attempted to swim to shore near Miami on Thursday after their boat sank off the coast of Florida, officials said.
MIAMI: About 20 Haitian migrants attempted to swim to shore near Miami on Thursday after their boat sank off the coast of Florida, officials said.
One of the migrants was found without a life vest and later died after being plucked from the ocean, according to police.
US Customs and Border Control agents arrested eight of the migrants -- four of them women -- as they reached the Fort Lauderdale beach north of Miami, and were searching for the rest.
"The search is still on. We're still looking for survivors," US Coast Guard Petty Officer Mark Barney said.
Fort Lauderdale Police spokeswoman DeAnna Greenlaw said officers plucked three people from the water, confirming one of them later died. Police estimate that there were between 18 to 20 people on the rickety boat.
Migrants from Haiti often undertake perilous journeys aboard precarious and often overcrowded boats headed for the Bahamas or the United States.
In December, 17 Haitian suspected illegal migrants died when their boat capsized off the Turks and Caicos islands near the Caribbean.