At least three Haitian migrants were killed Thursday when a boat carrying a score of people ran aground off the eastern town of Cortecito, the Dominican navy said.

Ten people were rescued alive.

The migrants stole the 25-foot recreational boat sometime after midnight Wednesday and were trying to reach the U.S. commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

Some 20 people were aboard the boat at the time of the accident, Dominican navy spokesman Juan Pablo Sandoval Garcia told Efe.

Navy units were continuing to search the area.

The Dominican Republic and Haiti share the Caribbean island of Hispaniola, which is separated from Puerto Rico by the Mona Passage, a channel 100-kilometers (62-miles) wide.

The journey is a dangerous one and many migrants die trying to reach U.S. territory.

The Dominican navy has intercepted 205 would-be migrants so far this year, including 137 Haitian nationals, Sandoval Garcia said. EFE