In words to pilgrims gathered in the Paul VI Hall on Wednesday, the Pope said “last Saturday, near the Bahamas archipelago, a boat sank, carrying dozens of migrants from Haiti in search of hope and a peaceful future. My affectionate thoughts go out to the families who are in pain, as well as to the Haitian people affected by this new tragedy. I invite you to join me in praying for those who have tragically lost their lives and for the wounded.”
The boat which had been transporting the migrants sank in waters near the island of Abaco in the Bahamas.
17 survivors were rescued.
The Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF) said that this year alone, some 300 Haitians had been caught for illegal entry in separate incidents. In Haiti more than 60 percent of the population lives on less than two dollars a day.
There are also regular attempts to reach the Bahamas or Turks and Caicos islands illegally.