11 Women Die in Shipwreck off Puerto Rico

Friends on social media have been sharing this heartbreaking news. The article from El Nuevo Día (Carlos Tolentino Rosario, May 13, 2022)—“Las 11 víctimas del naufragio en Desecheo son todas mujeres y hoy les practicarán autopsias”—translates as “The 11 victims of the shipwreck in Desecheo are all women and today they will perform autopsies.” At the time of the article’s publication, there was still no data about how many people were originally traveling on the boat, which, the authorities presume, was arriving in Puerto Rico illegally. The Coast Guard was still involved in the search and rescue operation to determine whether there were more bodies or survivors in the water. [People who believe they know someone who was traveling on the shipwreck can call (787) 765-0615 to corroborate identities of victims and survivors.]

[. . .] The executive director of the Institute of Forensic Sciences [ICF in Spanish: Instituto de Ciencias Forenses], María Conte Miller, reported this morning that she will perform autopsies on 11 bodies recovered yesterday in the waters of the Atlantic Ocean after the shipwreck of a boat in which a group of undocumented immigrants was traveling bound for the island.

The official confirmed that the bodies correspond to women and that the analysis will be done through the use of CT-Scan Post Mortem technology, as well as through deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) tests. “We have formed a work team in a special shift to carry out today all the autopsies of the people who died in the shipwreck. We take the necessary precautions so that our regular operation is not affected. Regular shift colleagues will work on the other cases scheduled for today,” Conte Miller explained in a press release.” We established communication with the Consulate of the Dominican Republic in Puerto Rico in an effort to locate the families of the deceased and achieve their identification,” she added.

The shipwreck occurred yesterday, Thursday, about 10 nautical miles north of Desecheo Island. The spokesman for the Customs and Border Protection Service (CBP), Jeffrey Quiñones, specified this morning, to questions from El Nuevo Día, that 31 people were recovered alive: 11 of them women and 20 men. Asked if there are minors among the survivors, the official answered no. At the time, he explained that 29 of the survivors are from Haiti and two from the Dominican Republic.

Conte Miller mentioned that people who believe that they had a family member traveling on the shipwreck can call (787) 765-0615 to corroborate identities with the agency’s team of interviewers.

Search and rescue operational complex

The press spokesman for the San Juan Coast Guard, Ricardo Castrodad, indicated that the search and rescue operation continues this morning, when asked whether there are more bodies or survivors in the water. “We are going to continue the search in the hope of finding more survivors, given the benefit of the doubt. Every moment that passes, it is more difficult [to find more survivors] and the search becomes more complicated. [. . .] The mission is complex due to the distance from the shore, from where this incident occurred. We are talking about 10 miles north of Desecheo [. . .], quite far from the west coast of Puerto Rico.” [. . .]

Excerpts translated by Ivette Romero. Read full article (in Spanish) at https://www.elnuevodia.com/noticias/seguridad/notas/los-11-cuerpos-recuperados-tras-naufragio-en-desecheo-son-mujeres-y-hoy-les-practicaran-autopsias/

Also see https://www.telesurenglish.net/news/Shipwreck-off-Puerto-Rico-Coast-Leaves-at-Least-11-Dead-20220513-0024.html and https://allworldnews.site/2022/05/13/they-confirm-that-the-11-dead-from-the-shipwreck-in-puerto-rico-were-haitians/

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