After fatal capsizing, families wait for word - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

After fatal capsizing, families wait for word

By Chuck Weber email

LAKE WORTH, FL (WFLX)-This was an agonizing day for people with loved ones on the boat that capsized Wednesday in the Gulf stream off Palm Beach County. The latest numbers from the Coast Guard indicate nine died, 16 were rescued and three to ten are missing.

The Haitian Citizens United Task Force, an organization based in Lake Worth, says several families have come to them seeking information on the status of those on the boat. Some don't know if their family members survived or if they were even on board.

"Since this morning I didn't eat or drink anything," said Gens Flermont speaking through an interpreter. Flermont, of Lantana, is waiting on word about his oldest son 26-year old Elson Flermont.

The elder Flermont says he knew his son had a visa to visit the Bahamas, however said nothing of coming to the States. When Flermont hadn't heard from his son, he called the Bahamas.

"I asked for him because he didn't call me for 3 days," said Flermont. "And the person told me he was on the boat. If he was on the boat, or die, or is alive, I want to know."

Phillippe "Bob" Louis Jeune, who heads the Haitian Citizens United Task Force, says he will probably go to Haiti soon to tell people to stop coming. "It's not safe for them," said Jeune. "That's my main concern right now."

Jeune also said Haiti needs aid from the United States and other countries. "There's no job in Haiti right now," said Jeune. "Nothing at all. You will see more people coming if there's nothing done."

Jeune's group and other organizations have asked the government to grant Haitians already here, Temporary Protected Status. They say, in the long run, that would help stop the flow of migrants from Haiti.

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