Most of 95 Dominican boatpeople feared dead in north coast mishap
NAGUA, Dominican Republic.- Three bodies have been recovered thus far Sunday night of a group of 95 undocumented travelers whose boat sank early yesterday near the beach at Matancita, Nagua (north).
The authorities identified the three as Jose Augusto Polanco, 35, Edwin Frannier de la Cruz, 27, and Pedro Ramirez.
The survivors Pedro Castellano, Fermín Valerio and Margarita Perdomo said they complained to the “captain” of the yola type boat felt overloaded with the 80 people onboard, but were told that there wouldn’t be any problems and that he was expecting 15 more still, on a smaller boat out to sea.
They said a high surge overturned the yola just several minutes after leaving the beach and hit what they presume was a reef and broke apart.
They added that while some managed to swim ashore, most of them disappeared, the majority young women and who paid as much as 30,000 pesos in advance one month ago.
Diani Santiago, wife of Pedro Ramirez Sanchez, one of the victims, inconsolably narrated the moment when her husband was about to leave Saturday night. “He said to me: My love I’m going to Puerto Rico, because we must change; I said to him: don’t go, don’t leave us on our own, and he responded to me that he had to do it. He left and drowned.”