Four people died after a boat carrying Haitians and Jamaicans capsized off the US coast, officials said Wednesday.

Eleven others were taken into custody after the early morning incident in the waters off southern Florida, Coast Guard spokesman Mark Barney told AFP.

"They were Haitians and Jamaicans, we can't confirm at this point if they were illegal immigrants," he added.

The Coast Guard responded by sea and air around 1 am (0500 GMT), plucking survivors from the sea some seven miles (11 kilometers) east of Miami.

The youngest passenger on board was 15 and survived, Barney said.

One of the survivors was taken to an area hospital, according to a separate Coast Guard statement.

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of the deceased," said Coast Guard Captain Austin Gould. "This tragic case reiterates the dangers of traveling aboard an overcrowded boat at night with no safety equipment on board."

 

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