Coast Guard repatriates 64 migrants to the Dominican Republic

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 repatriated 64 migrants to the Dominican Republic between Wednesday and Thursday, following the interdiction of an illegal migrant voyage Monday, approximately 51 nautical miles north of Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.

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

The crew of a Coast Guard HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircraft sighted the illegal migrant voyage, approximately 51 nautical miles north of Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Watchstanders at Coast Gard Sector San Juan diverted the Coast Gard Cutter Donald Horsley that arrived on scene and interdicted the 30-foot white migrant boat. The makeshift vessel was transporting 63 Dominican males, including a 17-year-old minor, and one Haitian man.

“In the last 10 days, the U.S. Coast Guard and our Dominican Republic Navy partners have worked together to interdict 191 migrants at sea,” said Lt. Michael Lopez, Coast Guard liaison officer in the Dominican Republic. “Our collective efforts help safeguard the maritime borders of both nations and the people who risk their lives when they embark grossly overloaded makeshift vessels to attempt the perilous voyage across the Mona Passage.”

The crew of the cutter Donald Horsley embarked the migrants and transported them to waters Wednesday just off Samaná, Dominican Republic, where the 63 adult migrants were transferred to local authorities aboard a Dominican Republic Navy patrol boat. The following day, the Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Tezanos (WPC-1118) repatriated the 17-year-old minor in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, where he was received by local authorities.

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

Cutters Donald Horsley and Joseph Tezanos are 154-foot fast response cutters 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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