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20 found dead on boat

US Coast Guard rescue water
(AP Photo/Mark Tenally)

Officials are reporting that 20 people have been found dead on a boat floating near Grand Turk island.

The discovery was made Thursday morning by fishermen who noticed the boat drifting about a mile off from the island.

According to the marine branch of the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force, all 20 passengers on the small were found dead including two children.

It is unclear what caused their deaths, however, authorities are reporting that they do not suspect foul- play.

Police Commissioner Trevor Botting also reported that the boat seemed to come from elsewhere in the Caribbean and that they do not believe Turks and Caicos was their intended destination.

“My investigators are working to establish their identities and how they met their death,” Botting said.

Turks and Caicos often many boats from Haiti as many flee the area seeking refuge from poverty.  The territory also has been used by human traffickers.