The United States Coast Guard says crewmembers aboard the Coast Guard Cutters Decisive and Escanaba repatriated 239 Haitian migrants to Cap Haitian, Haiti on Nov. 14. The repatriation was a result of two separate migrant interdictions it said.
The Coast Guard said its 7th District watchstanders were notified on Tuesday that a Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter detected a 40-foot sail freighter with multiple people aboard in the vicinity of Great Inagua, Bahamas.
The cutter Decisive was diverted to the freighter’s location “and safely embarked a total of 171 Haitian migrants, the Coast Guard said.
Also on Tuesday, 7th District watchstanders were notified by a deployed Coast Guard Air Station Detroit helicopter crew of a sailboat heading north from Haiti.
The Coast Guard Cutter Vigorous was diverted, and the crew “safely embarked 68 Haitian migrants,” the Coast Guard said.
The 68 migrants were later transferred to the cutter Escanaba for repatriation.
“The crews on Decisive and Vigorous saved 239 lives from the perils of sea,” said Capt. Mark Fedor, chief of response enforcement.
“The vessels were grossly overloaded and not capable of making it safely to their intended destination,” he added. “The Coast Guard stands ready to deter illegal migrant activity and protect safety of life at sea.”
Once aboard a Coast Guard cutter, all migrants receive food, water, shelter, and basic medical attention, Fedor said,