The U.S. Coast Guard was searching Wednesday for 11 migrants whose boat capsized in rough waters between the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. Four survivors and two bodies were recovered.

The vessel was carrying 17 people when it sank Monday night on a route that illegal migrants — mostly Dominicans and Cubans — use to come to U.S. shores.

A passing charter boat spotted the first three survivors clinging to five-gallon water jugs Wednesday morning about 7 miles off the northeast tip of the Dominican Republic. Two bodies and a fourth survivor were found floating nearby later in the day, Guard spokesman Ricardo Castrodad said.

The Guard sent two helicopters and a patrol boat to look for the missing.

"We're going to continue search and rescue efforts," said Castrodad, who did not have information why the boat sank or the nationalities of the passengers.

Each year thousands of migrants try to cross the Mona Passage, a perilous 80-mile stretch of water separating the Dominican Republic from Puerto Rico.