Coast Guard Repatriates 76 Dominicans Following Three Interdictions at Sea

A white yola vessel with 20 people aboard 15 miles southwest of Mona Island, Puerto Rico, on Oct. 17. The boat was one of three interdicted, leading to the repatriation of 76 Dominican migrants by the Coast Guard Cutter Diligence crew. U.S. Coast Guard

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — The Coast Guard Cutter Diligence repatriated 76 of 80 Dominican migrants to a Dominican Republic navy vessel on Oct.  18 following the interdiction of three separate illegal migrant voyages near Puerto Rico, the Coast Guard’s 7th District said in a release. 

Four other migrants will remain in Puerto Rico to face possible federal prosecution on charges of violating U.S. code for trying to illegally re-enter the United States. 

The interdictions were a result of ongoing efforts in support of Operation Unified Resolve, Operation Caribbean Guard and the Caribbean Border Interagency Group (CBIG).  

“Medium endurance Coast Guard cutters like Dependable and Diligence provide persistent and robust search-and-rescue and law-enforcement presence along the United States’ vast maritime borders and ocean areas promoting safety of life at sea by helping prevent loss of life from perilous migrant voyages in overloaded and unsafe vessels, as well as enforcing compliance with federal laws and regulations,” said Cmdr. Luke Slivinski, commanding officer of the cutter Diligence. 

“Our recent interdictions were expertly supported by CPB Air and Marine Operations patrol aircraft that located the migrant vessels and adeptly directed our small boats over dozens of miles of open ocean at night to safely intercept them. The success of these recent joint operations highlights the excellent cooperation, coordination and interoperability between marine law enforcement agencies in and around Puerto Rico.” 

The first interdiction took place Oct. 14 after a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Air and Marine Operations DHC-8 marine patrol aircraft crew sighted a migrant boat near Aguadilla, Puerto Rico. The Coast Guard Cutter Dependable interdicted the illegal voyage and embarked all 29 migrants, 22 men and seven women.  

The second interdiction took place Oct. 15 evening after a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Air and Marine Operations marine patrol aircraft crew sighted a migrant boat, approximately 18 nautical miles west of Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico. The Coast Guard Cutter Diligence interdicted the illegal voyage and embarked all 31 migrants, 28 men and three women.  

The third interdiction took place Oct. 17 after the crew of a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Air and Marine Operations DHC-8 marine patrol aircraft crew sighted a migrant boat in the Mona Passage, about 13 nautical miles southwest of Mona Island.  The Coast Guard Cutter Diligence interdicted the illegal voyage and embarked all 20 migrant men.

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