SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Cushing repatriated 10 Haitian migrant survivors to Cap Cana, Dominican Republic, while Coast Guard rescue crews ended the search for two others Thursday afternoon in waters off Mona Island, Puerto Rico.
The crew of the Cushing detected a migrant boat Wednesday morning attempting to make landfall on Mona Island, when they observed the group of migrants jump into the water, approximately three nautical miles offshore, as the migrant boat proceeded to flee the area with two other people onboard.
Following reports from survivors it was determined that two migrants from the group still remained missing.
“These smugglers abandoned 12 precious lives in the treacherous seas miles from Mona Island and ran like cowards as our patrol boat arrived,” said Capt. Drew Pearson, Coast Guard Sector San Juan commander. “Those who survived are very fortunate that our Coast Guard crew was there to save them. While the fate of the two people may never be known or what happened to them, our thoughts and prayers are with their families and loved ones during this difficult time,”
Coast Guard rescue crews ended their two-day search Thursday afternoon following six surface and air searches that encompassed an area of approximately 1,100, square nautical miles, after no signs of survivors were detected. A Puerto Rico Police Joint Forces of Rapid marine unit also assisted in the search efforts.
Coast Guard assets involved in the search were:
• The Coast Guard Cutter Cushing homeported in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
• The Coast Guard Cutter Matinicus homeported in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
• MH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico.
• Coast Guard Auxiliary fixed-wing aircraft from the U.S. Virgin Islands.