SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — The Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Napier repatriated 12 migrants from an interdicted illegal voyage and transferred two men, who were rescued in a separate case, to a Dominican Republic navy vessel Monday near Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, the Coast Guard 7th District said in a Dec. 7 release.
The migrant interdiction is the result of ongoing multiagency efforts in support of Operation Caribbean Guard and the Caribbean Border Interagency Group (CBIG).
“I commend the performance of the Joseph Napier crew in both of these cases,” said Lt. Matthew Miller, cutter Joseph Napier commanding officer. “Their swift and assertive actions ensured the safe transfer of two rescued boaters and 12 migrants to Dominican Republic navy authorities.”
The migrant interdiction occurred Dec. 6, when the crew of a Puerto Rico Police Joint Forces of Rapid Action marine unit stopped a 35-foot makeshift boat, approximately three and half nautical miles west of Aguadilla. Coast Guard watchstanders diverted the cutter Joseph Napier to assist.
Once on scene, the crew of the cutter Joseph Napier safely embarked 10 men and two women from the grossly overloaded boat. The crew of the Joseph Napier provided the migrants with lifejackets before embarking the Coast Guard cutter, and once they were safely aboard, they received food, water, shelter and basic medical attention.
Later Sunday afternoon, Coast Guard watchstanders in Sector San Juan received a communication from a Good Samaritan aboard the motor vessel Statia Glory, who reported being on scene with a disabled vessel with two people aboard, approximately eight nautical miles south of Mona Island, Puerto Rico. The cutter Joseph Napier diverted and once on scene embarked the two men from the disabled vessel that was taking on water from incoming swells. The men, who claimed to be Dominican Republic nationals, had no life jackets, marine radio or cell phone communications onboard.
Cutter Joseph Napier is a 154-foot fast response cutter homeported in San Juan, Puerto Rico.