Coast Guard repatriates 180 people to Haiti

A Coast Guard Station Islamorada small boat crew, Coast Guard Air Station Miami MG-65 helicopter aircrew, and a Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations small boat crew search for people in the water near Rodriguez Key, Florida, Nov. 21, 2022. The people were repatriated them to Haiti on Nov. 25, 2022. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Lt. Robert Collins)

A Coast Guard Station Islamorada small boat crew, Coast Guard Air Station Miami MH-65 helicopter aircrew, and a Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations small boat crew search for people in the water near Rodriguez Key, Florida, Nov. 21, 2022.  (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Lt. Robert Collins)

MIAMI — Coast Guard Cutter Escanaba’s crew repatriated 180 Haitians to Haiti, Saturday, following an interdiction 25 miles south of Rodriguez Key.

A good Samaritan alerted Sector Key West watchstanders of an overloaded sailing vessel, at approximately 5 a.m., Monday. Coast Guard air and surface assets, and Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations crews responded.

At approximately 7 p.m., the 50-foot sailing vessel hit a sand bar south of Whale Harbor resulting in multiple reports of people in the water.

U.S. Border Patrol reported rescuing 18 people.

One person was medevac’d to Jackson Memorial Hospital for further evaluation.

There were 89 men, 55 women, and 46 children aboard the cutter.

The remaining 10 people are still going through a joint interagency process and disposition has yet to be decided.

The weather on scene was 6-10 foot seas and 25-30 mph winds.

“These people were packed into an overloaded, unsafe vessel without safety equipment,” said Lt. C. Box, Coast Guard District Seven. “The weather was so bad, these people are lucky we got to them when we did.”

Since Oct. 1, 2022, Coast Guard crews have interdicted 585 Haitian migrants compared to:

  • 7,175 Haitian Migrants in Fiscal Year 2022
  • 1,527 Haitian Migrants in Fiscal Year 2021
  • 418 Haitian Migrants in Fiscal Year 2020
  • 932 Haitian Migrants in Fiscal Year 2019
  • 609 Haitian Migrants in Fiscal Year 2018
  • 419 Haitian Migrants in Fiscal Year 2017

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

For more news follow us on Twitter and Facebook. For recent photographs follow us on Flickr.


If you have any problems viewing this article, please report it here.