Video – Coast Guard Rescues 23 Dominicans

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Coast Guard Cutter Chincoteague and the Caribbean Express rescued 23 Dominican Republic migrants from the water Jan. 14, after their yola/ boat capsized approximately three nautical miles southwest of Isla Saona, Dominican Republic.

Dominican Republic navy rescue crews recovered the body of one female migrant who was located deceased underneath the capsized yola.

Coast Guard HU-25 Falcon Jet and HH-65 Dolphin helicopter rescue crews located the Dominicans clinging to the overturned 25-foot yola at 9:45 a.m. All 20 male and three females, including one who was 7-months pregnant, were reported being in good health after being rescued from the water.

According to reports from survivors, the yola was carrying 24 people when the migrants initiated their voyage to cross the Mona Passage en route Puerto Rico. They were in the water approximately 36 hours prior to being found by the Coast Guard.

Coast Guard controllers initiated the search Jan. 13, by diverting an HU-25 Falcon Jet and Coast Guard Cutter Chincoteague to the scene and launching an HH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Air Station Borinquen to search for the missing persons.

Coast Guard controllers during the night were able to briefly establish cellular phone communications with one of the migrants who was in the water and the rescue controllers received valuable information from him that assisted with the search.

Coast Guard rescue crews, including an HC-130 Hercules aircraft from Air Station Clearwater, Fla., completed searching a total of 11 search areas covering over 990 nautical square miles.

Coast Guard Cutter Chincoteague arrived in La Romana, Dominican Republic and transferred the 23 rescued persons to Dominican Republic navy authorities.

Coast Guard Cutter Chincoteague is a 110-foot patrol boat homeported in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Click for a video of the rescue

Source: USCG D7 Public Affairs

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