Coast Guard Repatriates 202 Haitian Migrants
MIAMI — The Coast Guard Cutter Tahoma crew repatriated 202 Haitian migrants March 14 to Cap Haitian, Haiti, the Coast Guard’s 7th District said in a release.
The repatriation is a combination of two separate interdiction cases in which Coast Guard aircrews and cutter crews located and rescued the migrants.
A Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew located an overloaded 50-foot freighter March 11 approximately 30 miles east of Great Inagua Island, Bahamas. The cutter Tahoma crew was diverted to the scene, and safely interdicted and embarked 86 migrants. In addition, the Tahoma crew interdicted another overloaded 50-foot Haitian sail freighter with 115 migrants aboard March 12 33 miles east of Great Inagua, with assistance by a Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew deployed to Great Inagua.
“The waters of the Caribbean and Florida Straits are dangerous and unforgiving for migrants on illegal voyages, in overloaded vessels with little or no safety gear, needlessly placing lives at risk,” said Rear Adm. Peter Brown, the 7th District commander. “The Coast Guard and its partner agencies continue to maintain a strong presence along our maritime border and will continue to interdict and rescue those who embark on these illegal and ill-advised voyages in these unsafe vessels.”
Once aboard Coast Guard cutters, all migrants receive food, water, shelter and medical attention.
Approximately 1,040 Haitian migrants have attempted to illegally migrate to the U.S. via the maritime environment since Oct. 1 compared to 1,869 Haitian migrants in fiscal year 2017. These numbers represent the total number of at-sea interdictions, landings and disruptions in the Florida Straits, the Caribbean and Atlantic.
The cutter Tahoma is a 270-foot medium endurance cutter homeported in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.