7 April 2015, 04:06 GMT
Haitian government officials said the sailboat freighter was carrying about 50 passengers when it sank near the coastal town of Le Borgne on the north coast of Haiti. After trying to turn back due to high seas it ran aground on a reef.
“The Haitian Coast Guard rescued 12 survivors but advised that 19 were still missing,” the US Coast Guard said in a statement.
At least 21 dead bodies have been recovered from the scene since the ship went down early on Thursday.
“Our crews are searching with every intention to find these missing people and bring them back to their loved ones,” said Captain Mark Fedor, the US Coast Guard’s district head of search and rescue.