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Haitians' bodies found near Bahamas

  • Story Highlights
  • The bodies of 20 Haitians found in open waters, U.S. Coast Guard says
  • Rescue workers also discover three survivors northwest of Nassau, Bahamas
  • People were heading from Haiti when they became stranded
  • Coast Guard says it's unclear what type of vessel was used
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MIAMI, Florida (CNN) -- U.S. and Bahamian rescue workers found the bodies of 20 people floating in open waters Sunday near the Bahamas, U.S. Coast Guard officials said Monday.

Authorities received an alert about 5 a.m. ET Sunday of people stranded and screaming in the water 15 miles northwest of Nassau, Bahamas, the Coast Guard said.

Helicopters, jets and patrol boats were deployed in a search, and about 20 people were located by 3:45 p.m. Sunday.

Rescue workers discovered three survivors and are searching for others, said Coast Guard Petty Officer Nick Ameen in Miami.

All of the dead were Haitians, authorities said. Two of the survivors are Haitians, and the other is a Honduran, they said.

Rescuers did not find the vessel that the people were on before becoming stranded, Ameen said.

Authorities are trying to find out what type of vessel it was from survivors.

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Bahamian officials will question the survivors, said Luis Diaz, a spokesman for the Coast Guard. If a criminal investigation needs to be initiated, authorities in the Bahamas would handle it, Diaz said.

The people were heading from Haiti, he said. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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