Coast Guard repatriates 29 migrants to Samaná, Dominican Republic

The Coast Guard Cuttter Joseph Doyle interdicted a 25-foot white and orange trip migrant vessel off the west coast of Desecheo Island, Puerto Rico March 1, 2020.

The Coast Guard Cuttter Joseph Doyle interdicted a 25-foot white and orange trip migrant vessel off the west coast of Desecheo Island, Puerto Rico March 1, 2020.

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — The Coast Guard repatriated 29 migrants to Samaná, Dominican Republic Monday night, following the interdiction of two illegal migrant voyages by Caribbean Border Interagency Group law enforcement crews, just off the west coast of Puerto Rico.

The interdictions are the result of ongoing efforts in support of Operation Caribbean Guard and the Caribbean Border Interagency Group (CBIG).

“The close coordination and collaboration between the Coast Guard, the Puerto Rico Police and Dominican Republic officials resulted in two successful interdictions as well as the quick and safe return of all the migrants,” said Capt. Eric P. King, Coast Guard Sector San Juan commander. “We remain vigilant alongside our fellow CBIG and Dominican Republic Navy partners to protect our nation’s maritime borders and stop these illegal voyages, which greatly endanger the lives of all migrants.”


During a routine patrol of the Mona Passage Saturday, the Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Doyle (WPC-1133) witnessed a suspect go-fast transiting at high speed while making erratic maneuvers off the west coast of Desecheo Island. Cutter Joseph Doyle interdicted the 26-foot go-fast vessel and embarked the four men of Dominican Republic nationality who were on board.

A Puerto Rico Police Joint Forces of Rapid Action marine unit interdicted a second migrant vessel with Dominican Republic nationals on board Sunday morning just off the coast of Aguadilla, Puerto Rico. Cutter Joseph Doyle arrived on scene shortly thereafter and embarked all 25 migrants, 20 men and five women, from the 26-foot makeshift boat due to safety of life at sea concerns.

The cutter Joseph Doyle transported the migrants to Dominican Republic waters in Samaná, where they were repatriated at sea to a Dominican Republic Navy vessel.

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

Cutter Joseph Doyle is 154-foot fast response cutter homeported in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Operation Caribbean Guard is a Department of Homeland Security multi-agency law enforcement operation to support ongoing efforts in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands being executed under the San Juan Regional Coordinating Mechanism (SJ ReCoM)/Caribbean Border Interagency Group (CBIG).

CBIG was formally created to unify efforts of the 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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