Coast Guard repatriates 54 Dominicans

The Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Doyle interdicts an illegal voyage near Desecheo Island, Puerto Rico the night of June 27, 2022. The cutter Joseph Doyle repatriated 54 Dominican nationals and returned four Haitians from this interdiction to the Dominican Republic June 28, 2022. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

The Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Doyle interdicts an illegal voyage near Desecheo Island, Puerto Rico the night of June 27, 2022.  The cutter Joseph Doyle repatriated 54 Dominican nationals and returned four Haitians from this interdiction to the Dominican Republic June 28, 2022. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — The Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Doyle repatriated 54 Dominican nationals and returned four Haitians to the Dominican Republic Tuesday, following the interdiction of an illegal voyage in Mona Passage waters near Puerto Rico.

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

Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Doyle interdicted a 25-foot makeshift boat Monday night, after the vessel was initially detected by the aircrew of a Coast Guard HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircraft, approximately 8 nautical miles southwest of Desecheo Island, Puerto Rico. Following the interdiction, cutter Joseph Doyle’s crew safely embarked the passengers from the makeshift boat.

Cutter Joseph Doyle later rendezvoused with a Dominican Republic Navy patrol vessel near the Dominican Republic and transferred the group for their return to the Dominican Republic.

“Fortunately our Coast Guard assets responded to this case in time to safely remove everyone from this grossly overloaded and unseaworthy vessel that could have easily capsized without warning in the middle of the night,” said Cmdr. Gerard Wenk, Sector San Juan response. “People taking part in illegal voyages are most often unaware of the unsafe conditions and the dangers they face from smugglers. They are also unaware that if caught, they will be returned to their country of origin or could face possible prosecution.”

Since Oct. 1, 2021 to May 31, 2022, the Coast Guard has carried out 64 illegal voyage interdictions in Mona Passage and Caribbean waters near Puerto Rico. Interdicted during this period, are 1,706 non-U.S. citizens comprised mostly of Dominican Republic and Haitian nationals (1,235 Dominicans, 370 Haitians, 01 Cuban, 1 Ecuadorian, 52 Venezuelan, 12 Uzbek, 35 Unknown).”

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

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 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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