Coast Guard repatriates 58 Dominicans, 7 Haitians

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – The Coast Guard Cutter Richard Dixon repatriated 58 Dominicans and returned seven Haitians to a Dominican Republic patrol boat just off Punta Cana, Dominican Republic Monday, following the interdiction of an irregular migrant voyage vessel in Mona Passage waters near Puerto Rico.

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

The Coast Guard Cutter Richard Dixon interdicted a 25-foot blue and wooden makeshift boat Sunday night in Mona Passage waters shortly after it was detected by the aircrew of a Coast Guard HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircraft. The migrants were observed continuously bailing water from the grossly overloaded vessel. Following the interdiction, the cutter crew provided lifejackets to the migrants and safely embarked 58 males and four women who claimed Dominican Republic nationality as well as five men and two women who claimed Haitian nationality. The cutter Richard Dixon transported the interdicted group to Dominican Republic territorial waters where the repatriation was completed.

“The excellent coordination and quick response efforts between the Coast Guard responding units and watch standers saved 65 lives from a possible tragic outcome,” said Lt. Nicholas Rogers, Coast Guard Cutter Richard Dixon commanding officer. “For those thinking of irregularly migrating we urge you to not take to the sea. This voyage is extremely dangerous and occurs aboard grossly overloaded and unseaworthy vessels. Your life and the life of all others in the voyage will be at risk.”

From Oct. 1, 2022, through Dec. 31, 2022, the Coast Guard has carried out 14 illegal voyage interdictions in Mona Passage and waters near Puerto Rico. Interdicted during this period, are 419 non-U.S. citizens including 327 Dominicans, 91 Haitians and 01 of unknown nationality.

Cutter Richard Dixon 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 should contact your local U.S. Embassy.

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