U.S. Coast Guard Interdicts Haitian Migrants

Published Jun 15, 2019 9:18 PM by The Maritime Executive

The U.S. Coast Guard says it continues to discourage migrants from conducting dangerous illegal voyages on unsafe and unseaworthy vessels.

On June 12, a Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew, deployed to Great Inagua, Bahamas, detected a migrant vessel approximately 49 miles southeast of Great Inagua. The Coast Guard Cutter Venturous crew, along with a Royal Bahamas Defence Force vessel, interdicted approximately 177 Haitian migrants, including seven children, aboard an overloaded 45-foot wooden freighter.

On June 13, a Customs Air and Marine Branch aircraft detect a 20-foot pleasure craft approximately 46 miles east of Boca Raton, Florida, and the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter William Flores interdicted the vessel with 14 Haitian migrants and two suspected smugglers.

Approximately 4,567 migrants have attempted to illegally enter the U.S. via the maritime environment since October 1, 2018, the beginning of the 2019 fiscal year, compared to 4,302 migrants in the fiscal year 2018. Of these, 311 were Cuban migrants, 2,785 were Haitian migrants, 1,361 were Dominican migrants and 172 were migrants of various nationalities attempting to enter into the U.S. illegally from the Bahamas. 

The Coast Guard says that, once aboard a Coast Guard cutter, all migrants receive food, water, shelter and basic medical attention.