Coast Guard, Royal Bahamas Defence Force rescues 6 Haitian migrants off Little Inagua

Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class Scott Garren, an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter rescue swimmer from Air Station Clearwater, Florida, deployed to Great Inagua, Bahamas, carries a Haitian migrant woman in Little Inagua, July 28, 2017. The Coast Guard and Royal Bahamas Defence Force rescued six Haitian migrants, including the woman, from the island. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class Scott Garren carries a Haitian migrant woman in Little Inagua, July 28, 2017.  (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

MIAMI – The Coast Guard and the Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF) rescued six Haitian migrants Friday off Little Inagua, Bahamas.

A fisherman contacted watchstanders at Coast Guard’s 7th District Command Center at 7:15 p.m. and reported the migrants were on the island. Royal Bahamas Defence Force requested the Coast Guard assist in locating and rescuing the migrants.

A Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew, deployed to Great Inagua, arrived 9:43 p.m. with an RBDF officer and embarked the migrants. The rescue crews provided first aid to the six individuals who were experiencing symptoms of dehydration and exhaustion, prior to taking them to Matthew Town, Great Inagua for further medical evaluation.

The Coast Guard, Drug Enforcement Agency and RBDF maintain a 24/7 presence on the island in support of Operation Bahamas and Turks and Caicos (OPBAT) – a tri-country agreement between the U.S., Turks and Caicos and U.K. governments to combat drug smuggling to and from the U.S., Bahamas and Turks and Caicos.

Coast Guard members assigned to Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater routinely rotate deployments to Andros Island and Great Inagua. Members include maintenance personnel, ground crews, helicopter flight crews and site supervisors.

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