A migrant boat filled with an estimated 100 Haitians capsized in the Bahamas, killing at least 10 people.
The boat ran aground 15 miles off the coast of Staniel Cay, an island 80 miles southeast of Nassau, the capital of the Bahamas.
Lt. Origin Deleveaux, a spokesman for the Royal Bahamas Defense Force, told The Associated Press that the boat probably encountered the low-lying reefs and choppy waters, causing it to flip. Deleveaux said the boat was over capacity, which may have aggravated the situation as well.
The U.S. Coast Guard and Royal Bahama Defense Force initiated a rescue mission Monday night and have continued the search for survivors. According to officials from both agencies, the death toll is unknown.
"Unfortunately, once again during our mission we didn't have our night vision goggles with us. It was very dark, low moon illumination, a scattered layer at about 1,300 feet made visibility not as good as it could have been," Coast Guard pilot Lt. Morgan Roy told cbslocal.com.
He also said that strong winds made the recovery of survivors "more difficult."
"Right now the main concern is making sure we can rescue these people and get them back to safety," Coast Guard Petty Officer Jon-Paul Rios told The Associated Press.
Migrants seeking residency in the Bahamas or the U.S. are known for sailing through this area in ill-suited boats packed to the brim, The Associated Press reports.
"Unfortunately we see these types of tragedies occur on a monthly basis," said Ryan Doss, a Coast Guard spokesman. "Every year we see hundreds of migrants needlessly lose their lives at sea taking part in these dangerous and illegal voyages."
A number of similar incidents have occurred in recent weeks off the Italian island of Lampedusa, where ships with hundreds of migrants have capsized or sunk.