Cuba said 38 Haitian migrants died after a boat they were in sank off the island's eastern coast.

According to an official communique read out on state television, 87 others, including four children, were rescued by Cuban civil defense forces after the Dec. 24 shipwreck.

The boat was spotted in the sea off Guantanamo province, some 590 miles from Havana. The province is home to the U.S. naval base where terror suspects are held.

It was not clear where the Haitians were heading, though Cuba likely was not their intended destination.

The dead included 21 men and 17 women, according to the communique.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Coast Guard said it returned almost 150 Haitians to their homeland after intercepting their boats at sea.

A total of 112 Haitian migrants were returned to Cap-Haitien on Dec. 23. A Coast Guard crew on a routine patrol discovered their sail freighter west of Great Inagua, Bahamas.

Officials say the vessel was “grossly overloaded” with 87 men, 19 women and six children. They were given life jackets and transferred to the Coast Guard cutter.

The Coast Guard said it also returned eight Cuban migrants Dec. 21 and 29 more on Dec. 23 to Bahia de Cabanas, Cuba. Officials said they were picked up at sea in two separate incidents.

All received food, water and medical care aboard Coast Guard vessels before being repatriated.