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Coast Guard Warns Haitians Against Dangerous Sea Voyages

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A Haitian migrant boat capsized on 11/26/13 killing at least 10 people off the coast of the Bahamas. (Source: U.S. Coast Guard)

A Haitian migrant boat capsized on 11/26/13 killing at least 10 people off the coast of the Bahamas. (Source: U.S. Coast Guard)

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OPA-LOCKA (CBSMiami/AP) — Don’t risk your lives trying to escape Haiti. That’s the message from the U.S. Coast Guard which is urging Haitians not to attempt risky sea voyages to escape their Caribbean homeland.

Dozens of Haitian migrants have died in recent attempted crossings.

Since Oct. 1, the Coast Guard has picked up 420 Haitians at sea. Officials say that in the past year, there’s also been a significant increase in the number of Haitians crossing the 80 miles of water that separate the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico.

The Coast Guard has worked with South Florida’s Haitian community to produce a public service announcement in English and Haitian Creole.

The ad will be released in South Florida and in the future will be distributed through the State Department in Haiti, the Dominican Republic and other Caribbean islands.

Officials will unveil the 30-second spots Thursday.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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