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Dominican boat deaths rise

ROUGH CUT - NO REPORTER NARRATION The number of confirmed dead after the sinking of a boat ferrying migrants from the Dominican Republic had risen to at least 25 on Tuesday (February 7) night, as search teams found more bodies. More than 20 other people were still missing, after the boat capsized and sank on Saturday (February 4). Impoverished Dominicans in search of better opportunities often set out in old, overloaded smuggling boats known as yolas, trying to cross the Mona Passage to the reach the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico. Many have died in the attempt. The treacherous 130-kilometre-wide strait is a highly used seaway that links the Caribbean and the Atlantic Ocean, and is notorious for dangerous tides, shallow sand banks and sharks.

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