Coast Guard rescues, repatriates 164 Haitian migrants

MIAMI – The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Confidence repatriated 164 Haitian migrants to Cap Haitien, Haiti, Tuesday, after they were interdicted at sea Monday.

While on a routine patrol, the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Bear located a grossly overloaded,  40-foot Haitian sail freighter about 30 miles west of Great Inagua, Bahamas.

The crew of the Bear distributed personal flotation devices to the 164 Haitian migrants and transferred them safely to the cutter.

“This sail freighter was dangerously overloaded and not seaworthy enough to make a trip across open ocean waters,” said Capt. Steven Banks, Seventh Coast Guard District chief of enforcement.” As always, our primary concern is safety of life at sea and tragically many have lost their lives while attempting this treacherous trip in unsafe and overloaded vessels.”

Once aboard the cutter, all migrants received food, water, shelter and necessary medical attention before being repatriated.

The Bear is a 270-foot medium endurance cutter homeported in Portsmouth, Va.
The Confidence is a 210-foot medium endurance cutter homeported in Cape Canaveral, Fla.

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