Busy 48 Hours for Coast Guard Cutter Key Largo

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – In the last 48 hours the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Key Largo repatriated 162 Dominican Republic migrants and two Haitian Nationals to La Romana, Dominican Republic.

Today, shortly before arriving in La Romana to repatriate 25 Dominican migrants who were interdicted yesterday, the Key Largo interdicted a yola (boat) with 32 migrants onboard, approximately four and a half nautical miles southeast of Catalinas Island, Dominican Republic. The crew of the Key Largo joined forces with the Dominican Republic Navy to transfer the 32 migrants from the yola to a Dominican Republic Navy patrol boat.

200 Migrants Interdicted Since Monday:

The 110-foot patrol boats Key Largo and Matinicus have intercepted 200 migrants during a series of five interdictions that took place; Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and today. Patrol boat personnel have gathered and collected biometric data, digital fingerprints and photographs, on all the migrants as part of the interdiction process.

Twenty-six Dominican migrants aboard a 25-foot wooden yola were located yesterday by a U.S. Customs and Border Protection C-12 aircraft. The Matinicus was diverted to the scene and interdicted the yola, approximately 32 nautical miles northwest of Aguadilla, Puerto Rico. The crew of the Matinicus transferred 25 of the 26 migrants to the Key Largo and medically evacuated a nine-month pregnant female to EMS personnel in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico. The 25 Dominican migrants were repatriated today to La Romana.

A second group of 75 Dominicans and two Haitians was interdicted by the crew of the Key Largo Tuesday, after they were located by an Air Station Borinquen helicopter. The migrants were traveling aboard a 30-foot yola approximately 25 nautical miles northwest of Cabo Engaño, Dominican Republic when intercepted.

Once again, the Key Largo located and interdicted a 30-foot yola with 35 Dominican migrants at 6:30 p.m., Monday, approximately two and a half nautical miles southwest of Mona Island, Puerto Rico. Four migrants aboard this yola, were identified through the use of biometrics. These migrants were detained because they were previously deported or formally removed from U.S. territory. A fifth migrant was identified and detained for attempting to enter illegally into U.S. territory for the third time. The detainees were transferred to U.S. Border Patrol agents in Mayaguez for further processing in anticipation of charges being filed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Puerto Rico.

The aircrew of a CBP C-12 aircraft located an over loaded yola Monday night, approximately 13 nautical miles northwest of Cabo Engaño, Dominican Republic. The Key Largo was diverted and interdicted 30 Dominicans who were traveling aboard the 20-foot boat.

The biometric capabilities employed by the Coast Guard is an important tool to definitively establish the identity of those interdicted at sea who may attempt to enter or re-enter the United States illegally, or who may pose a threat to national security.

Collecting biometric identification supports the U.S. Government’s efforts to target human smugglers and protect migrants put at risk attempting to enter the United States illegally from the sea.

Matinicus and Key Largo are 110-foot patrol boats homeported in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

USCG Sector San Juan Public Affairs

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