Coast Guard Repatriates 110 Haitians Aboard an Overloaded Boat

FacebookTwitterPinterestEmailShare
Haitian officials transfer migrants from Coast Guard Cutter Resolute.
Haitian officials transfer migrants from Coast Guard Cutter Resolute to their boat, Dec. 22, 2020. (U.S. Coast Guard)

MIAMI — More than 100 Haitians who were attempting to leave the country aboard an overloaded 40-foot boat were apprehended at sea and repatriated Tuesday by the U.S. Coast Guard.

According to the 7th District Southeast in Miami, the Coast Guard Cutter Resolute crew repatriated 110 Haitian migrants who were crammed aboard a wooden vessel painted blue with the words "Laewa Esperyans" (Laewa experience") and "Ann Wiv Ansanm" (let's live together) painted in red and yellow on its side.

The group, wearing red and yellow life preserver jackets, were stopped about 50 miles north of Cap-Haitien, Haiti, after a Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew spotted them in the water. Resolute's crew diverted and brought the people aboard "out of abundance of caution for safety of life at sea," the Coast Guard said.

"I could not be prouder of the crew for safely interdicting and deterring migrant ventures through coordinated efforts to enforce U.S and partner nation treaties and laws," Cmdr. Justin Vanden Heuvel, commander, Coast Guard Cutter Resolute, said in a statement. "Resolute's crew was exceptional in ensuring safety of life at sea, as well as providing around-the-clock care for 110 guests and creating an atmosphere of compassion and dignity prior to repatriation."

Added Lt. Edwin Valentin, Coast Guard liaison officer in Haiti: "Members of the U.S. Embassy Port au Prince continue to issue anti-migration messaging and to work with host nation government[s] to develop and publish deterrence messaging on illicit maritime migration."

According to the Coast Guard, its crews have interdicted about 150 Haitian migrants in fiscal year 2021, which began Oct. 1, 2020. There were 418 Haitian migrants interdicted in fiscal year 2020 via at-sea interdictions, landings and other occurrences in the Florida Straits, Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean.

Once aboard a Coast Guard cutter, all of those brought aboard receive food, water, shelter and basic medical attention. Coast Guard crew members are equipped with personal protective equipment due to COVID-19.

This article is written by Howard Cohen from Miami Herald and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the Industry Dive publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@industrydive.com.

Show Full Article