Coast Guard Interdicts 23 Illegal Migrants

POMPANO BEACH, Fla. —The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Bernard C. Webber (WPC-1101) on March 2 interdicted 23 illegal migrants with multiple nationalities 11 miles east of Pompano Beach attempting to illegally enter the United States, the Coast Guard 7th District said in a March 6 release.

The Bernard C. Webber crew sighted a 25-foot cabin cruiser with six adult Chinese females —three of whom were interdicted by the Coast Guard less than year ago for illegal entry into the United States —one adult Guyanese female, one adult Colombian female, five adult Haitian females, six adult Haitian males, three accompanied Haitian male minors and one unaccompanied Haitian male onboard.

“These illegal maritime migration voyages are extremely dangerous and put the safety of those aboard in great jeopardy. The Coast Guard remains poised to intercept these smuggling events in an effort to prevent the unnecessary loss of life,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Ryan Etelmaki, boarding officer for the Bernard C. Webber.

Six of the migrants interdicted —four Chinese nationals, one Guyanese national and one Haitian national —were handed over to U.S. Customs and Border Patrol for processing and Homeland Security Investigations is looking into the case. The remaining 17 migrants were transferred to the Royal Bahamian Defense Force and appropriate child services in Freeport, Bahamas, on March 3.