Coast Guard repatriates 15 Haitian migrants

MIAMI – The Coast Guard Cutter Vigilant repatriated 15 Haitian migrants to Cap Haitien, Haiti, Tuesday after being found aboard a go-fast vessel Thursday.

Crewmembers from Coast Guard Station Canaveral with assistance from the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Kingfisher, located a disabled 24-foot go-fast vessel early Thursday morning, 15 miles east of Cape Canaveral, Fla. Once on scene, crewmembers discovered approximately 15 Haitian migrants, one Jamaican migrant and one suspected smuggler.

The suspected smuggler and Jamaican migrant were transferred to Customs and Border Protection officials in Cape Canaveral Saturday.

“The Coast Guard continues to aggressively enforce U.S. policy with regard to illegal migration,” said Capt. Steven Banks, Seventh Coast Guard District chief of enforcement. “Attempting to smuggle undocumented migrants by sea is not only illegal, but also dangerous.”

Once aboard Coast Guard cutters, migrants are provided with food, water, shelter and necessary medical attention.

The cutter Vigilant is a 210-foot medium endurance cutter homeported in Cape Canaveral.
The cutter Kingfisher is an 87-foot patrol boat homeported in Jacksonville, Fla.

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