At least 23 illegal immigrants, including women and two children, are feared drowned after their boat overturned early Wednesday morning off Venezuela.

The ill-fated fishing pirogue was carrying 35 persons, including the captain, an inlet along Trinidad’s south western peninsula.

The Express was told that the boat set sail off the port of Las Salinas, Guiria for the three and a half hour long journey.

Guiria

This was the planned route of the fishing boat bringing the Venezuelans to Icacos, Trinidad

But on nearing the Bocas Islands, the Express was told, the vessel encountered engine difficulty.

The boat “"Yonaili José” sank near the Bocas off Trinidad’s western coast.

It was reported that the boat was overloaded.

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One of the suspected drowning victims

A Venezuelan, now living in Trinidad, said her 21-year-old sister was on board the vessel to Trinidad.

She said, “My sister was coming to Trinidad to help me. It is very bad in Venezuela. There is no food, no hospital and people are becoming desperate.”

Venezuelan news site Noticiera Digital reported that 23 of the 35 passengers were unaccounted for and Venezuelan coast guard had mounted a search.

The Express was told, “My sister contacted me on Tuesday and said she was leaving. I understand the survivors contacted the other relatives and told them that the boat overturned and some people were missing.”

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One of the suspected drowning victims

Go Guiria, a Facebook page, stated that the incident occurred early Wenesday morning. It stated that the vessel encountered motor problems and sank. The missing people are feared drowned, it stated.

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