Coast Guard Interdicts 78 Haitian Migrants

MIAMI – Crewmembers of the Coast Guard Cutter FORWARD interdicted a 37-foot sailing vessel carrying 78 Haitian migrants who claimed to be en route to Miami, while the cutter was patrolling the waters of the Windward Pass early Sunday morning.

The aircrew of an HU-25 Falcon jet from Air Station Miami first spotted the vessel while on routine patrol off the coast of Haiti. The aircrew identified the vessel and radioed the report to the closest cutter. Upon receipt of the report, FORWARD made its best speed to the position of the vessel, launching its deployed HH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircrew from Air Station Miami to provide real-time updates of the sailing vessel’s progress and safety.

Upon coming alongside the vessel, FORWARD discovered the 78 Haitian migrants overcrowding the small, homemade vessel. Crews from the FORWARD safely embarked the migrants from the dangerously overloaded sailing vessel, while an HH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Air Station Clearwater provided surveillance and search and rescue coverage.

While on board the FORWARD, migrants receive food, water and basic medical needs.

Coast Guard Cutter FORWARD, commissioned in 1990, is a two-hundred and seventy foot medium endurance cutter homeported in Portsmouth, Va.

Crewmembers from the Coast Guard Cutter Forward are seen here transporting 78 Haitian migrants to safety from their grossly overloaded 37-foot sailing vessel en route to Miami. (USCG Photo by Ensign Andy Dennelly)

Crewmembers from the Coast Guard Cutter Forward are seen here transporting 78 Haitian migrants to safety from their grossly overloaded 37-foot sailing vessel en route to Miami.
USCG Photo by Ensign Andy Dennelly

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