Local December 7, 2011 | 7:56 am

Dominican boatpeople save 18 companions from drowning

NAGUA, Dominican Republic.- Eighteen of the 27 boatpeople missing after their makeshift boat broke up on reefs near the beach at Matancitas en route to Puerto Rico were rescued by another one also heading illegally to that island with 45 people on board.

Several relatives of those rescued said they received calls from Puerto Rico confirming they were safe.

Nine of the 95 travelers are still missing and three bodies have been found thus far.

The 18 managed to reach Puerto Rico together with the 45 on board the other boat known as a yola, which had also set course for neighboring island on Sunday.

Transfer on the high seas

The relatives said the survivors were drowning after the yola broke apart on reefs, but the another boat which had also left at dawn rescued them, managing to arrive in Puerto Rico 8 p.m. Monday albeit dehydrated.

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