Coast Guard continues search for missing migrants

MIAMI – Coast Guard crews continue to assist Turks and Caicos Islands officials Tuesday in searching for as many as 79 Haitian migrants missing from a vessel that capsized Monday.

A total of 113 Haitians have been rescued and transported to safety by Turks and Caicos Island Police authorities and the Coast Guard. A total of nine passengers have been located deceased.

On Monday, Turks and Caicos Islands officials contacted the Coast Guard at 2:52 p.m. to report a large number of people in the water approximately 2.3 nautical miles southeast of West Caicos, Turks and Caicos Islands. An HH-60 Jayhawk helicopter assigned to Operation Bahamas Turks and Caicos OPBAT launched from Providenciales and medevaced four passengers with the most significant injuries. The Coast Guard Cutter Valiant arrived on scene and searched for survivors throughout the night.

Searching are:

  • An HC-130 Hercules fixed-wing aircraft crew from Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater.
  • An HH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater, Fla., deployed in support of Operation Bahamas Turks and Caicos.
  • An HU-25 Falcon jet and MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Miami.
  • The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Valiant.
  • Turks and Caicos Islands police officers.

The Cutter Valiant is a 210-foot medium endurance cutter homeported in Miami.

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