Coast Guard crews rescued 199 Haitians, Thursday, and they were safely transferred to Haitian authorities, Saturday.
During a routine patrol, a Coast Guard Air Station Miami HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircrew located and notified Coast Guard District Seven watchstanders of a 50-foot sail freighter, Thursday, at approximately 2:30 p.m., southeast of Pointe de la Plateforme, Haiti. Coast Guard Cutter Bernard C Webber’s crew arrived on scene and handed out personal flotation devices to the Haitians. They were brought aboard the cutter, due to the vessel being grossly overloaded. It was later destroyed as a hazard to navigation.
Coast Guard Cutter Hamilton, Robert Yered and Diligence’s crews also assisted in this rescue.
No injuries or significant medical concerns were reported among the people rescued.
The Coast Guard routinely returns persons interdicted at sea aboard unseaworthy vessels to their country of origin to prevent loss of life at sea.
“These types of ventures are extremely dangerous due to them being grossly overloaded, aboard unseaworthy vessels, and without safety equipment,” said Lt. Brandon Decardenas, Coast Guard Air Station Miami public affairs officer. “Coast Guard air and sea assets help prevent people from losing their lives in these attempts.”
Since October 1, 2020, Coast Guard crews have rescued/returned 1,527 Haitians 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
Once aboard a Coast Guard cutter, all persons 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.