Coast Guard repatriates 94 Dominicans to the Dominican Republic,

The cutter Joseph Doyle interdicted an a 35-foot makeshift vessel taking part in an illegal voyage early morning Jan. 26, 2022, approximately 35 nautical miles north of Aguadilla, Puerto Rico. The crew of the Joseph Doyle embarked 48 men and 7 women, who claimed to be Dominican Republic nationals. The group was repatriated to the Dominican Republic Jan. 27, 2022, along with 39 other Dominicans from a separate interdiction. (U.S. Coast Guard photo).

The cutter Joseph Doyle interdicted an a 35-foot makeshift vessel taking part in an illegal voyage early morning Jan. 26, 2022, approximately 35 nautical miles north of Aguadilla, Puerto Rico.   (U.S. Coast Guard photo).

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — The Coast Guard Cutter Valiant repatriated 94 Dominicans to the Dominican Republic Thursday afternoon, following the interdiction of two illegal voyages near Puerto Rico.

The interdictions are the result of ongoing local and federal multi-agency efforts in support of the Caribbean Border Interagency Group (CBIG).

“To those looking to take part in an illegal voyage we can’t overstate to them that they not take to the seas,” said Cmdr. Mickey Wenk, Sector San Juan chief of enforcement. “Many persons taking part in an illegal voyage do not realize the perils associated with crossing the Mona Passage, the dangers are quite real and the journey is just not worth it. People risk drowning by going overboard, capsizing, or the vessel breaking apart. They also do not realize they could face criminal prosecution or be returned to their country of origin.”

The Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Doyle interdicted an illegal voyage early Wednesday morning, following the detection of a 35-foot makeshift vessel spotted by the aircrew of a Customs and Border Protection Marine Enforcement Aircraft, approximately 35 nautical miles north of Aguadilla, Puerto Rico. The crew of the Joseph Doyle embarked 48 men and 7 women, who claimed to be Dominican Republic nationals.

A Puerto Rico Police Joint Forces of Rapid Action marine unit interdicted an illegal voyage Monday night, following the detection made by the aircrew of a Customs and Border Protection Marine Enforcement Aircraft of a 35-foot makeshift vessel, approximately 11 nautical miles northwest of Aguadilla, Puerto Rico. Shortly thereafter, Coast Guard Cutter Valiant arrived on scene and embarked 35 men and four women, who claimed to be Dominican Republic nationals.

Once aboard a Coast Guard cutter, persons interdicted receive food, water, shelter and basic medical attention. Throughout the interdiction process, Coast Guard crewmembers were equipped with personal protective equipment to minimize potential exposure to any possible case of COVID-19.

Cutter Valiant completed the repatriation process during a rendezvous with a Dominican Republic Navy vessel near Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.

Since Oct. 1, 2021, Coast Guard crews interdicted 702 Dominicans, 248 Haitians, and 50 others of different nationalities in the Mona Passage and near Puerto Rico compared to:

  • 463 Dominican, 15 Haitians in Fiscal Year 2021
  • 491 Dominican, 08 Haitians in Fiscal Year 2020
  • 429 Dominican, 06 Haitians in Fiscal Year 2019
  • 280 Dominican, 04 Haitians in Fiscal Year 2018
  • 262 Dominican, 03 Haitians in Fiscal Year 2017
  • 246 Dominican, 19 Haitians in Fiscal Year 2016

Joseph Doyle is a 154-foot fast response cutter homeported in San Juan, Puerto Rico, while Valiant is a 210-foot medium endurance cutter homeported in Mayport, Fla.

People 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 border of Puerto Rico against illegal migration and drug smuggling.

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