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The U.S. Coast Guard has found seven more survivors of the sinking of a ship carrying Haitian migrants near Puerto Rico, a Coast Guard spokesman said Friday, bringing the total number of survivors to 38, the death toll remaining at 11.

The ship, which was spotted for the first time on Thursday north of the island of Desecheo, an uninhabited island in the archipelago of Puerto Rico, the United States territory, was carrying mainly Haitian migrants as well as two citizens of the Dominican Republic, said a spokesperson.

“Of these survivors, eight remain hospitalized,” the spokesman told Reuters. “Research efforts continue.”

The Coast Guard reported 31 survivors on Thursday.

Migrants, particularly from Haiti, have in recent months attempted to escape gang violence and poverty through dangerous journeys on seaworthy vessels, with a series of tragic losses at sea.

The capsizing comes less than a week after the U.S. Coast Guard and Dominican Navy rescued 68 people last Saturday from Mona Passage, a dangerous area in the Caribbean between Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.

US authorities say they have detained twice as many migrants in and around US jurisdictions in the Caribbean over the past year compared to the previous year. Observers point to Haiti’s political instability, coupled with brutal gang violence and a crumbling economy, which has prompted more people to flee.

“We’ve seen our Haitian numbers explode,” Scott Garrett, acting chief patrol officer for U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in Puerto Rico, told The Associated Press.

Garrett said it was unclear exactly how many migrants were on the boat, but said survivors provided authorities with their own estimates. “The numbers we hear are between 60 and 75,” he said.

Rescue efforts began Thursday after a CBP helicopter saw people clinging to the capsized boat. Crews worked through the night and the search continued Friday, with the Coast Guard scouring the open waters northwest of Puerto Rico by boat, plane and helicopter.

Authorities have released footage showing people desperately clinging to the boat in open water as they wait to be rescued. Once ashore, the survivors were escorted to a jetty, with at least one wearing only underwear. Some were taken to ambulances, and eight Haitians remained hospitalized on Friday.

Tom Homan, who was acting director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for much of the Trump administration, said migrants in the latest incident may have gotten lost, leading them away from the American continent, or that they may have tried to reach Puerto Rico, an American territory where they can attempt to seek asylum. Both scenarios are common.

Pierre Esperance, executive director of the Haitian National Network for the Defense of Human Rights, said he expected the trips to continue despite warnings about the danger.

“It is more risky for Haitians to stay in Haiti than to try to leave Haiti to have a better life,” he said.

A United Nations report noted that kidnappings in the country of more than 11 million people have increased by 180% and homicides have increased by 17% over the past year. Dozens of people, including women and children, have been killed in recent weeks amid fresh clashes between gangs vying for territory as their power grows following the July 7 assassination of the country’s president, Jovenel Moïse. The UN said last week that civilians were being burned to death and children as young as 10 were gang-raped.

Haiti has also been hit by double-digit inflation, severe gas shortages and gang violence that have shuttered hundreds of schools and businesses and prompted some hospitals and clinics to close temporarily. The Biden administration has expelled more than 20,000 Haitians in recent months amid heavy criticism given the country’s downward spiral.

“Even though it’s dangerous to get on a boat, it’s even more dangerous for people to stay in Haiti,” Esperance said.

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