A sail freighter ran aground with 159 people aboard approximately 13 miles east of West Caicos Island, Turks and Caicos, Jan. 15, 2021. A deployed Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter rescue crew found the freighter and directed partner marine rescue units to its position. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

Coast Guard, TCI Police Rescue 159 People Off Turks and Caicos

A deployed Air Station Clearwater MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter rescue crew assisted Turks and Caicos police and marine units in finding 159 people approximately 13 miles east of West Caicos Island, Turks and Caicos.

While the aircrew remained on scene, TCI responders removed all the people from the sail freighter and brought them to safety. The sail freighter ran aground on a reef. Additionally, due to the migrant vessel being significantly overloaded, the aircrew searched the immediate area to ensure no people were sighted in the water.

No injuries were reported.

“This case highlights the importance of the Coast Guard’s strong partnership with TCI,” said Lt. Cmdr. Jacob McMillan, Coast Guard liaison officer, Bahamas. “The aircrew, Coast Guard watchstanders, and TCI responders displayed superb teamwork and did a remarkable job saving 159 lives at sea.”

Read more at USCG

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