Coast Guard repatriates 5 Haitian migrants

MIAMI – The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Dauntless repatriated five Haitian migrants to Cap Haitien, Haiti, Tuesday after being found aboard a 25-foot vessel Friday.

Watchstanders from Coast Guard Sector Miami received a report from a Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine aircraft stating they located a 25-foot vessel Friday morning 22 miles east of Delray Beach, Fla., with possible migrants aboard.

Crewmembers from the Coast Guard Cutter Sitkinak, Coast Guard Station Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and Coast Guard Station Lake Work Inlet, Fla., were launched to respond. Once on scene, crewmembers discovered 5 Haitian migrants, two Jamaican migrants and one suspected smuggler.

The suspected smuggler and Jamaican migrants were transferred to CBP officials in Delray Beach Friday.

“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 basic medical care.

So far during fiscal year 2010, which began Oct. 1, 1,555 Haitian migrants have been interdicted at sea.

For information about how to legally immigrate to the United States, call U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) at 1-800-375-5283 or visit USCIS website at

The cutter Sitkinak is a 110-foot patrol boat homeported in Miami.

The cutter Dauntless is a 210-foot medium endurance cutter homeported in Galveston, Texas.

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