2 Haitian fishermen die in storm-whipped seas

People arrive with their belongings at a shelter prior the arrival of the Hurricane Matthew in Santiago, Cuba, Sunday, Oct. 2, 2016. Hurricane Mathew, one of the most powerful Atlantic hurricanes in recent history weakened a little on Saturday as it drenched coastal Colombia and roared across the Caribbean on a course that threatened Jamaica, Haiti and Cuba.(AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — The director of Haiti’s Civil Protection Agency says two fishermen have died in rough water churned up by the approaching Hurricane Matthew.

Marie Alta Jean-Baptiste says a boat carrying one of the men capsized early Monday off the tiny fishing town of Saint Jean du Sud as he was trying to bring his wooden skiff to shore.

Jean-Baptiste says body of the other was recovered a short time later off the nearby town of Aquin after he apparently drowned.

Both towns are near the southwestern coastal city of Les Cayes. The center of Hurricane Matthew is expected to pass near or over southwestern Haiti on Tuesday, but the area is already experiencing rain from the outer bands of the storm.

The deaths of the two fishermen in Haiti brings the total death toll from Hurricane Matthew to at least four.

The government banned boating along the country’s coastlines starting Saturday. But the head of an 80-member fishermen’s association in the south coast town of Gressier says some fishermen were taking to the seas early Monday.

Johnny Souffrant says “They feel they have to take risks to support their families.”

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.