Coast Guard repatriates 95 Haitian migrants

MIAMI — The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Valiant repatriated 95 Haitian migrants to Cap Haitien, Haiti, Tuesday morning.

The crew of a Coast Guard Air Station Miami Ocean Sentry fixed-wing aircraft spotted the migrants aboard a 40-foot sail freighter about 53 miles northwest of Great Inagua, Bahamas, around 7 p.m. Thursday.

The Valiant crew arrived on scene with the sail freighter about two miles south of Long Cay, Bahamas, around 3 p.m. Friday and safely embarked the 95 Haitian migrants.

The group of 95 Haitian migrants was composed of 80 men, nine women, five boys and one girl.

“This is yet another example of the diligence of Coast Guardsmen patrolling off the coast of Haiti,” said Capt. Steven Banks, Seventh Coast Guard District chief of enforcement. “The Coast Guard maintains a strong cutter and aircraft presence in the Windward Pass to deter and interdict these grossly overloaded, unsafe and illegal ventures.”

For information about how to legally immigrate to the U.S., call U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) at 1-800-375-5283 or visit the USCIS website at www.uscis.gov.

Once aboard Coast Guard cutters, all migrants receive food, water, shelter and basic medical care.

The cutter Valiant is a 210-foot medium-endurance cutter homeported in Miami Beach, Fla.

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