A makeshift boat called a “yola” capsized off Puerto Rico on Saturday, September 14, according to CBP officials. The boat, carrying approximately 38 illegal migrants, had departed the eastern shore of the Dominican Republic, traveling into an area described by one CBP official as “extremely treacherous.” Of the 38 passengers on board, three are known dead, 11 were taken into custody, and the remaining 24 are unaccounted for. All are believed to have been citizens of the Dominican Republic.
A yola is a kind of homemade fishing boat made of wood, often used by smugglers of migrants and drugs. The CBP officials responding were assigned to the Ramey Sector of the United States Border Patrol, the only Border Patrol Sector located outside the continental U.S. Ramey officers are responsible for patrolling 6,000 square miles of land and water area, encompassing both the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico and extending 12 miles out from those islands. Two days previously, Ramey officers apprehended 20 illegal Dominican Republic migrants in Puerto Rico, after spotting their yola abandoned on the beach.
For more, see ABC News.