Sixteen Haitian migrants killed and 21 rescued after boat capsizes near The Bahamas

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Survivors of a migrant boat that capsized perch on the overturned vessel off the coast of New Providence island (via REUTERS)
Survivors of a migrant boat that capsized perch on the overturned vessel off the coast of New Providence island (via REUTERS)

A boat carrying Haitian migrants has capsized off the coast of The Bahamas, killing 16.

A further 21 migrants - including 17 men and four women - were rescued roughly seven miles from the island of New Providence on Sunday, according to immigration minister Keith Bell.

“We mourn lives lost of those seeking a better way of life,” Mr Bell told Reuters.

“Those here with families and friends in Haiti, encourage your loved ones not to risk their lives.”

Such tragic incidents have become increasingly common amid a growing wave of sea migration to the US.

The Bahamas is a frequent transit route for Haitian migrants seeking to reach the United States as they flee poverty and rising gang violence.

Just days ago, the US Coast Guard discovered a boat carrying at least 150 migrants near the Florida island of Boca Chita.

Video of the small wooden boat - which had become stuck in the sand - showed passengers crammed together with little to no room to move.

The origin of that boat was not immediately clear.

Reuters contributed to this report