At least 5 dead, 7 missing in shipwreck off Haiti's coast

17:29, June 30, 2011      

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At least five women died and seven are still missing after a sailboat sank south of Gonaive Island just off the coast of Haiti, police said Wednesday.

The corpses of the five women were found along the coast near Haiti's capital of Port-au-Prince, the Caribbean nation's National Police Director Arsene Charmant Saint-Jean said, according to reports reached here.

Charmant said authorities had managed to rescue 11 people who had been aboard the boat when it got caught in a storm Monday evening, including an 8-year-old boy who "survived the shipwreck thanks to a bag of coal" which the boy was able to hold and which helped him reach the coast.

But the boy's mother died in the accident, the police director said, while other authorities said they had little hope that any more of the missing would be found alive at this point.

"There are few possibilities of finding those missing," an official of Haiti's Coast Guard said.

The boat was traveling with basic products between the local communities at the time the storm hit.

Source: Xinhua
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