Coast Guard searching for possible migrants in the water

Coast Guard Cutter Dauntless file photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Dustin R. Williams

Coast Guard Cutter Dauntless file photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Dustin R. Williams

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Coast Guard cutters and helicopters crews continue to search for possible migrants in the water Friday, following the rescue of 10 Haitian migrants Wednesday from a disabled vessel near Mona and Monito Islands, Puerto Rico.

At this time, search efforts have revealed no signs of people in the water.

Coast Guard watchstanders received a VHF marine radio communication on Channel-16 at 3:28 p.m. Wednesday from the fishing vessel Jerimar, reporting the sighting of a possible migrant vessel two nautical miles north of Mona Island, Puerto Rico. Watchstanders at Sector San Juan directed the launch of a Coast Guard MH-60T Jayhawk helicopter from Air Station Borinquen and diverted the Coast Guard Cutter Dauntless to search.

Shortly thereafter, the Coast Guard aircrew located the migrant vessel disabled and adrift, and vectored-in the Coast Guard Cutter Dauntless to its position. The crew of the Dauntless safely embarked 10 migrants from the disabled vessel, one man and nine women. The migrants, who were tired, fatigued and cold, from voyage, reported their vessel became disabled after striking the rocks in the area near Mona Island. Following the allision with the rocks, eight of the migrants and the smuggler reportedly jumped from the vessel and tried to swim to shore. The survivors also reported that two other migrants, wearing heavy clothes, fell from the vessel and could not swim.

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

Coast Guard crews are working with local authorities and the U.S. Border Patrol to investigate if any of the migrants from this case safely reached shore on Mona or Monito Islands.

Coast Guard assets involved in the search are:

  • Coast Guard Cutter Dauntless
  • Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Doyle
  • MH-60T Jayhawk helicopters from Air Station Borinquen

The Coast Guard Cutter Dauntless is a 210-foot medium endurance cutter homeported in Pensacola, Fla., while the cutter Joseph Doyle is a fast response cutter homeported in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

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