A U.S. Coast Guard cutter
and helicopter plucked more than a dozen fishermen from the Atlantic after their boat capsized, but at least 15 others were missing.
The 52-foot Abra Cadabra, carrying at least 34 fishermen, was sailing to a popular fishing bank off the Dominican Republic's north coast when it capsized, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.
Another boat rescued two of the fishermen some 20 miles north of the Dominican town of Montecristi on Tuesday and reported the sinking to the Dominican navy, which asked the U.S. Coast Guard for help.
The Coast Guard said it sent an HU-25 Falcon jet and two cutters to the scene, along with helicopters and planes based in Borinquen, Puerto Rico; Clearwater, Florida, and Mobile, Alabama.
A Dominican Republic naval
vessel also searched for survivors.
Coast Guard cutters found 16 fishermen bobbing in the water, and a helicopter rescued another survivor, spokesman Ricardo Castrodad said.
The survivors have been taken to hospitals for treatment of dehydration, said Capt. Carlos Rodriguez, a Dominican navy spokesman
. He said 34 fishermen had been aboard the boat, but the Coast Guard put the number at 39.
Rescue crews will search an increasingly large area through the night, as currents carry survivors away from each other and some try to swim to safety, Castrodad said.