Migrant vessel missing with dozens of Dominicans

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) -- The Coast Guard is searching the waters off western Puerto Rico for a boat that is reportedly missing with more than 40 Dominican migrants.

The Guard says rescue crews are using helicopters, a cutter and several aircraft to look for any sign of the makeshift wooden boat -- or survivors.

Migrants' relatives tell authorities the boat left the Dominican Republic on Wednesday night but did not arrive in Puerto Rico as planned.

The Coast Guard statement Monday said it began the search Sunday.

Hundreds of Dominican migrants brave the perilous, 80-mile (130-kilometer) ocean voyage to Puerto Rico each year to seek better lives in the more affluent U.S. Caribbean territory.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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