Coast Guard repatriates 24 Dominicans

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 Cutter Donald Horsley repatriated 24 Dominican Republic nationals Monday, following the interdiction of an illegal voyage Wednesday in Atlantic Ocean waters northwest of Aguadilla, Puerto Rico.

This interdiction is the result of ongoing local and federal multi-agency efforts in support of the Caribbean Border Interagency Group CBIG.

“The Coast Guard’s highest priority is to save lives at sea, and we do this daily alongside our fellow Caribbean Border Interagency Group partners in our shared unwavering resolve to interdict illegal voyages in the Mona Passage,” said Capt. Gregory H. Magee, Coast Guard Sector San Juan commander. “These voyages are extremely unsafe and put thousands of lives at risk every year, while conditions aboard these grossly overloaded makeshift boats are just inhumane. If you are thinking of taking part in an illegal voyage, do not take to the sea! If caught, you will be returned to your country of origin or you could find yourself facing criminal prosecution in U.S. courts.”

The aircrew of a Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations Enforcement Aircraft detected the suspect illegal voyage Wednesday night, approximately 70 nautical miles northwest of Aguadilla, Puerto Rico. Following the sighting, the Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Tezanos interdicted the 30-foot makeshift boat and safely embarked all the passengers. The Coast Guard Cutter Donald Horsely later embarked and completed the group’s repatriation to a Dominican Republic Navy vessel near the coast of Juanillo Dominican Republic.

Since Oct. 1, 2021 to May 16, 2022, the Coast Guard has carried out 61 illegal voyage interdictions in Mona Passage and Caribbean waters near Puerto Rico. Interdicted during this period, are 1,585 non-U.S. citizens comprised mostly of Dominican Republic and Haitian nationals (1,184 Dominicans, 348 Haitians, 01 Cuban, 1 Ecuadorian, 52 Venezuelan, 35 Unknown).

Family members in the United States inquiring about possible family members interdicted at sea, please contact your local U.S. representative. Relatives located outside the United States please contact your local U.S. Embassy.

CBIG unifies efforts between U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Puerto Rico, and Puerto Rico Police Joint Forces of Rapid Action, in their common goal of securing the borders of Puerto Rico against illegal migrant and drug smuggling.

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