Coast Guard transfers 15 migrants to Bahamas; 1 smuggler detained

A 24-foot cuddy cabin, Millie Jane, approximately 13 miles east of Miami Beach, Sep. 4, 2021. Coast Guard Cutter William Flores’ crew transferred 15 Haitian migrants to Bahamian authorities. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

A 24-foot cuddy cabin, Millie Jane, approximately 13 miles east of Miami Beach, Sep. 4, 2021.  (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

MIAMI — Coast Guard Cutter William Flores’ crew transferred 15 Haitian migrants to Bahamian authorities, Wednesday.

Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations agents requested assistance from Coast Guard Sector Miami in the interdiction of a 24-foot cuddy cabin, Millie Jane, approximately 13 miles east of Miami Beach, Saturday.

There were 17 people aboard the vessel: one suspected smuggler, five adult Haitian males, seven adult Haitian females and four Haitian accompanied female minors. Coast Guard Cutter Flying Fish’s crew arrived on scene and embarked the migrants.

No medical concerns were reported.

The suspected smuggler, a Bahamian adult male, was transferred to Homeland Security Investigations personnel for further investigation.

One migrant was determined to have a valid manifestation of fear and is being transferred to the proper authorities.

Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations boat crew towed the vessel to Station Miami Beach.

“Migrant interdiction patrols help save lives by deterring dangerous illegal migrant activity and removing migrants from unsafe conditions/situations,” said Cmdr. Jacob McMillan, Coast Guard Liaison Officer Bahamas.

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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