Coast Guard repatriates 84 Haitian migrants

Eighty-four Haitian migrants on a 42-foot vessel approximately 30 miles southwest of Turks and Caicos Islands, Oct. 28, 2018. While on routine patrol the cutter Thetis crew located the migrant vessel and embarked all 84 migrants for repatriation to Port-au-Prince, Haiti. (Coast Guard Photo)

Eighty-four Haitian migrants on a 42-foot vessel approximately 30 miles southwest of Turks and Caicos Islands, Oct. 28, 2018.  (Coast Guard Photo)

MIAMI — The Coast Guard Cutter Thetis (WMEC-910) crew repatriated 84 Haitian migrants Tuesday to Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

While on routine patrol the cutter Thetis crew located an overloaded 42-foot migrant vessel dead in the water Sunday approximately 30 miles southwest of Turks and Caicos Islands, arrived on scene and safely embarked 84 migrants for safety of life at sea concerns.

A Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew forward deployed to Great Inagua, Bahamas provided overhead support.

“The overloaded vessel we interdicted was dead in the water and lacked basic safety equipment such as life jackets and flotation devices, which could have led to a fatal accident at sea,” said Cmdr. Randall Chong, commanding officer of the cutter Thetis. “I am very proud of my crew on the cutter Thetis for finding, aiding, and ultimately rescuing all persons on board and, we will continue to patrol the Caribbean and Florida Straits to ensure safety of life at sea.”

Once aboard Coast Guard cutters, all migrants receive food, water, shelter and medical attention.

Approximately 132 Haitian migrants have attempted to illegally migrate to the U.S. via the maritime environment since Oct. 1 compared to 2,488 Haitian migrants in fiscal year 2018. These numbers represent the total number of at-sea interdictions, landings and disruptions in the Florida Straits, the Caribbean and Atlantic.

The cutter Thetis is a 270-foot medium endurance cutter homeported in Key West, Florida.

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