Illegal immigrants survive by eating human flesh and washing it down with sea water

Survivors of a nightmarish shipwreck stayed alive by eating the bodies of fellow voyagers who died during a three-week ordeal, a Dominican migrant said. Only two people survived the illegal attempt to migrate from the Dominican Republic to neighbouring Puerto Rico. About 60 Dominicans were believed to have crowded onto the boat, which suffered engine problems and drifted for weeks without power before it hit a coral reef off Haiti and sank last Thursday. ''Every night someone died and in the morning the others would cut them up and eat them,'' said Carlos Pinales, 19, one of two survivors brought to the Dominican Republic from neighbouring Haiti on Tuesday. According to the Associated Press, Mr. Pinales said he did not eat any human flesh, though a doctor said it would have been impossible for him to survive otherwise. He was still suffering dehydration and seemed disoriented when he arrived in the Dominican border town of Barahona. Mr. Pinales said the two captains who organized the illegal trip collected $240 from each passenger, and then deserted them. They left the group in a boat by a pier in the southeastern resort town of La Romana, leaving them to brave the eastern voyage across the Mona Passage alone. The boat's engine died within sight of Puerto Rico, on the second day at sea. They began drifting west, ending up hundreds of miles in the opposite direction. Without food or water, people began dying after several days adrift. At first the bodies were thrown overboard, he said. Then the voyagers began to eat the bodies. Mr. Pinales says he only drank salt water.

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