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Video: Stowaways Abandon Ship Into San Juan Harbor

San juan stowaways on barge with CBP officers
Officers with Customs and Border Protection arrest two migrants aboard the barge (CBP)

Published Mar 16, 2023 4:37 PM by The Maritime Executive

[Brief] On Tuesday, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the U.S. Coast Guard detained 18 migrants who had stowed away aboard a container barge in an attempt to enter the port of San Juan, Puerto Rico. 

As the container barge Brooklyn Bridge arrived in San Juan on a routine voyage from Jacksonville, 16 migrants jumped over the side and attempted to swim to shore. They were in possession of life jackets, and they were rescued from the water by a patrol boat from U.S. Coast Guard Sector San Juan. 

Caution: Strong language, not suitable for all audiences

Meanwhile, a team of U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers boarded the barge with a K9 unit. They searched the vessel and found two more female migrants, along with a duffle bag containing 11 kilos of cocaine and a gun. The estimated value of the seized cocaine is $264,500. 

All of the 18 suspects are being processed by CBP in accordance with U.S. immigration law. 

A CBP official told the Associated Press that the agency suspects the migrants boarded the barge during a port call in the Dominican Republic, hoping to reach Puerto Rico. Their origins and nationality are still under investigation.