A Miami-bound boat capsized off the coast of the Bahamas, killing at least 17 Haitians, including a baby.

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At least 17 Haitian migrants, including an infant, died early Sunday morning when a speedboat heading to Miami It capsized in rough seas off the coast of the Bahamas, officials said.

The Royal Bahamas Police Force and other first responders rescued 25 people, but more people are believed to be missing and additional search efforts were undertaken Sunday afternoon.

Prime Minister of the Bahamas Philip Davis said the ship, which was part of an alleged human-smuggling operation, capsized about seven miles offshore at around 1:00 am.

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Among the dead migrants were one man, 15 women and one baby, Davis said. According to police, five women and 20 men were rescued from the boat.

Survivors of a migrant boat that capsized onto an overturned ship off the coast of New Providence Island, Bahamas on July 24, 2022.

Survivors of a migrant boat that capsized onto an overturned ship off the coast of New Providence Island, Bahamas on July 24, 2022.
(Royal Bahamas Defense Force/Handout via REUTERS)

Two people from the Bahamas were taken into custody in connection with the operation, according to the Royal Bahamas Defense Force.

“Persons found to be involved will be prosecuted,” the prime minister said in a statement. “I understand the situation that many of these migrants face, which encourages them to take such a big risk. However, we urge those considering such a journey not to do so.”

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A growing number of Haitian migrants are trying to make dangerous trip to Florida boating in recent years.

The Coast Guard detained more than 6,100 migrants in FY 2022, which began last October, a sharp increase from 1,527 Haitian migrants stopped in FY 2021 and 418 migrants stopped in FY 2020.