Coast Guard interdicts 14 Haitian migrants 26 miles east of St. Lucie

A Coast Guard Station Fort Pierce 33-foot Special Purpose Craft—Law Enforcement crew embarks illegal migrants approximately 26 miles east of St. Lucie, Florida, July 2, 2020. The Coast Guard interdicted 14 Haitian migrants east of St. Lucie, transferred 10 Haitian migrants to Bahamian authorities in Freeport, Bahamas, medevaced two Haitian migrants and transferred two Haitian migrants to U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents in Lake Worth Inlet. (Coast Guard Photo)

A Coast Guard Station Fort Pierce 33-foot Special Purpose Craft—Law Enforcement crew embarks illegal migrants approximately 26 miles east of St. Lucie, Florida, July 2, 2020. (Coast Guard Photo)

MIAMI — The Coast Guard interdicted 14 Haitian migrants approximately 26 miles east of St. Lucie, Thursday.

Coast Guard 7th District watchstanders received a report of a disabled 21-foot pleasure craft with 14 migrants aboard. Watchstanders launched a Coast Guard Station Fort Pierce 33-foot Special Purpose Craft-Law Enforcement crew, a Coast Guard Station Lake Worth Inlet 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew and a Coast Guard Air Station Miami HC-144 Ocean Sentry airplane crew to search.

The Air Station Miami airplane crew located the disabled vessel and vectored in Station Fort Pierce, Station Lake Worth Inlet and the Coast Guard Cutter Manatee (WPB-87363) crew. After determining there were no COVID-19 concerns the cutter Manatee crew embarked the 10 Haitian males and 4 Haitian females. While aboard the cutter Manatee, two Haitian females fainted and were medevaced to a higher level of care.

The cutter Manatee crew transferred 10 Haitian migrants to Bahamian authorities in Freeport, Bahamas and two Haitian migrants to U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents in Lake Worth Inlet.

“The Coast Guard and our partner agencies’ first priority is safety of life at sea and these voyages, in many situations, aren’t safe,” said Cmdr. Rick DeTar, Coast Guard Sector Miami response department head. “The Coast Guard and our partner agencies maintain their focused and coordinated efforts to interdict and stop these unlawful migration attempts in to the United States.”

Once aboard a Coast Guard cutter, all migrants receive food, water, shelter, and basic medical attention.

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