SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — The Coast Guard repatriated 62 Dominicans and 13 Haitians between Thursday and Tuesday to the Dominican Republic, following the interdiction of two illegal voyages near the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico.
The interdictions are the result of ongoing local and federal multi-agency efforts in support of the Caribbean Border Interagency Group CBIG.
“The people on these voyages are very fortunate our crews arrived in time to prevent what could have been a most tragic outcome,” said Cmdr. Beau Powers, Sector San Juan chief of response. “Conditions aboard both these vessels were extremely unsafe, they were grossly overloaded, and had no lifesaving equipment, which could have caused them to capsize and possibly taken the life of everyone onboard. To anyone thinking of taking part in an illegal voyage, don’t take to the sea! You will be putting your life and the life of others at risk.”
During a routing patrol November 28, 2021, the aircrew of a Customs and Border Protection Marine Enforcement Aircraft detected the first illegal voyage in the Caribbean Sea near Isla Saona, Dominican Republic. Following the sighting, the Coast Guard Cutter Dauntless interdicted a 20-foot makeshift boat and safely embarked 15 persons. Two claimed to be Dominican Republic nationals, while the 13 others, eight men, four women and a female minor claimed to be Haitian nationals.
The cutter Dauntless repatriated 14 individuals from this group Thursday, while one Dominican Republic national remains in Puerto Rico facing federal prosecution on charges of attempted illegal reentry into the United States.
During a routine patrol Saturday, a Customs and Border Protection Marine Enforcement Aircraft detected a second illegal voyage in Atlantic Ocean waters north of Puerto Rico. Shortly thereafter, the Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Doyle interdicted the grossly overloaded makeshift boat and safely embarked 62 persons, who claimed to be Dominican Republic nationals including 49 men, 12 women and a male minor. The people in this group were repatriated to the Dominican Republic Monday and Tuesday.
Once aboard a Coast Guard cutter, persons who are interdicted receive food, water, shelter and basic medical attention. Throughout the interdiction, Coast Guard crewmembers were equipped with personal protective equipment to minimize potential exposure to any possible case of COVID-19.
Family members in the United States inquiring about possible family members interdicted at sea, please contact your local US representative. Relatives located outside the United States please contact your local US Embassy.