Coast Guard transfers 12 migrants to Bahamas

MIAMI — Coast Guard Cutter William Flores’ crew transferred 12 Haitian migrants to Bahamian authorities, Friday.

Coast Guard Station Lake Worth Inlet’s crew notified Coast Guard Sector Miami watchstanders of a suspicious 24-foot vessel approximately 3 miles east of Juno Beach, Tuesday. A Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office law enforcement small boat crew intercepted the vessel. The migrants were transferred to the William Flores.

No medical concerns were reported.

Seven migrants were transferred to Homeland Security Investigations personnel for further investigation.

A Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations boat crew towed the vessel to Station Lake Worth Inlet.

“Due to strong relationships with our partner agencies and Bahamian authorities, we are able to work together to protect lives at sea,” said Cmdr. Jacob McMillan, Coast Guard Liaison Officer Bahamas. “Illegal ventures like these can lead to casualties.”

Since Oct, 1, 2020, Coast Guard crews have interdicted 398 Haitian migrants compared to:

  • 418 Haitian Migrants in Fiscal Year 2020
  • 932 Haitian Migrants in Fiscal Year 2019
  • 609 Haitian Migrants in Fiscal Year 2018
  • 419 Haitian Migrants in Fiscal Year 2017

Interdictions include the total number of at-sea interdictions, landings and disruptions in the Florida Straits, Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean.

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

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