Coast Guard interdicts 50 Haitian migrants 46 miles north of Cap-Haïtien

A Coast Guard Cutter Robert Yered (WPC-1104) small boat crew approaches a 30-foot panga vessel with 50 Haitian migrants aboard approximately 46 miles north of Cap Haïtien, Haiti, May 20, 2019. The Coast Guard Cutter Vigilant (WMEC-617) crew transferred the migrants back to their country of origin. (Coast Guard Photo)

A Coast Guard Cutter Robert Yered (WPC-1104) small boat crew approaches a 30-foot panga vessel with 50 Haitian migrants aboard approximately 46 miles north of Cap Haïtien, Haiti, May 20, 2019.  (Coast Guard Photo)

MIAMI — The Coast Guard interdicted 50 migrants Monday approximately 46 miles north of Cap-Haïtien, Haiti.

At approximately 5:35 p.m., the Coast Guard Cutter Robert Yered (WPC-1104) crew detected an overloaded 30-foot panga vessel and launched a smallboat crew to investigate. The smallboat crew then boarded the vessel and discovered 36 Haitian males and 14 Haitian females.

The Robert Yered crew safely embarked the migrants and sank the vessel to prevent a hazard to navigation. The Coast Guard Cutter Vigilant (WMEC-617) crew transferred the 50 Haitian migrants back to their country of origin.

“Bottom line is these voyages put lives at unnecessary risk,” said Capt. Jason Ryan, Coast Guard 7th District chief of enforcement. “These voyages often involve ill-advised agreements with smugglers on poorly equipped, makeshift vessels that are prone to capsizing leading to loss of life. This humanitarian mission is a priority of the Coast Guard and its foreign and domestic partners only strengthening our presence in the region to stop these illegal activities from occurring, putting safety at sea first.”

Approximately 2,474 Haitian migrants have attempted to illegally enter the U.S. via the maritime environment since May 20 in fiscal year 2019 compared to 2,727 Haitian migrants in fiscal year 2018. These numbers represent the total number of at-sea interdictions, landings, and disruptions in the Florida Straits, the Caribbean, and Atlantic.

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

The Robert Yered is a 154-foot sentinel class cutter homeported in Miami, Florida. The Coast Guard Cutter Vigilant is a 210-foot medium endurance cutter homeported in Port Canaveral, Florida.


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