Coast Guard repatriates 11 migrants to Dominican Republic

The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Donald Horsley is a 154-foot Fast Response Cutter, home ported in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Donald Horsley File Photo

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – The Coast Guard repatriated 11 migrant survivors to the Dominican Republic between Monday and Tuesday, following the capsizing of an illegal voyage in the Mona Passage.

The survivors are 10 adult men and a male minor, who were rescued by the MSC Gisselle after their inflatable boat took on water and capsized, approximately 20 nautical miles northwest of Mona Island, Puerto Rico.

Coast Guard watchstanders at Sector San Juan received a communication at 8:20 p.m. Saturday from the MSC Giselle, a 984-foot Panamanian flagged container ship, informing the ship was on scene with a capsized vessel and people in the water.

Coast Guard watchstanders diverted the Coast Guard Cutter Donald Horsley and a HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircraft to the scene. Shortly thereafter, the MSC Giselle relayed the crew was able to rescue all persons from the capsized vessel. Upon arriving on scene, the crew of the cutter Donald Horsley embarked and rendered assistance to the migrants.

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

“Illegal migrant voyages are exceedingly dangerous, and these 11 individuals are very fortunate to be alive thanks to the master and crew of the MSC Giselle,” said Lt. Charles Chavtur, Coast Guard Cutter Donald Horsley commanding officer. “I’m glad we were able to arrive quickly, assist the survivors and ensure their safe return to the Dominican Republic.”

“To anyone considering taking part in an illegal migrant voyage across the Mona Passage, don’t take to the sea, you are putting your life and the life of others at risk,” said Cmdr. Beau Powers, Sector San Juan chief of response. “These highly dangerous voyages often take place aboard unseaworthy grossly overloaded makeshift boats, which continuously take on water and have little or no lifesaving equipment onboard.”

The Coast Guard Cutter Donald Horsley is a 154-foot fast response cutter homeported in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

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