Coast Guard transfers 8 migrants to Bahamas

U.S. Customs and Boarder Protection agents search a 20-foot pleasure craft that was interdicted by a U.S. Coast Guard Station Lake Worth Inlet boat crew due to suspicious activity Aug. 31, 2021 in West Palm Beach, Florida. The Coast Guard Cutter Bernard C. Webber’s crew transferred 8 Hatian migrants to Bahamian authorities Sept. 2, 2021. (U.S. Coast Guard Courtesy photo)

U.S. Customs and Boarder Protection agents search a 20-foot pleasure craft that was interdicted by a U.S. Coast Guard Station Lake Worth Inlet boat crew due to suspicious activity Aug. 31, 2021 in West Palm Beach, Florida.  (U.S. Coast Guard Courtesy photo)

MIAMI — Coast Guard Cutter Bernard C. Webber’s crew transferred eight Hatian migrants to Bahamian authorities, Thursday, after interdicting a suspicious vessel off the coast of West Palm Beach, Florida.

Customs and Border Protection agents relayed a transmission from Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office personnel to Coast Guard Sector Miami watchstanders, Tuesday, reporting 10 suspected migrants on a 20-foot pleasure craft approximately 3 miles east of West Palm Beach.

A Coast Guard Station Lake Worth Inlet boat crew arrived on scene, took the vessel in tow and transferred the migrants aboard the Webber.

Two Bahamian males were transferred to Homeland Security Investigations personnel for further investigation.

“These voyages can be extremely dangerous,” said Cmdr. Jacob McMillan, Coast Guard Liaison Officer Bahamas. “Seas, weather and water conditions can all change in an instant, you should expect the unexpected.”

No medical concerns were reported.

The 20-foot vessel was transferred to Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine agents.

Since Oct, 1, 2020, Coast Guard crews have interdicted 380 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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