The Coast Guard Cutter Charles Sexton’s crew repatriated 72 Haitian migrants to Haiti, Tuesday.
In the first interdiction, Coast Guard Sector Miami watchstanders received a MAYDAY call April 17 and launched multiple surface asset crews and an Air Station Miami HC-144 Ocean Sentry airplane crew to the scene to assist. The Coast Guard Cutter Robert Yered crew arrived on scene and interdicted migrants from an overloaded 42-foot pleasure craft approximately 15 miles west of the Bahamas.
In the second interdiction, Sector Miami watchstanders received a report from U.S. Customs and Border Protection of an overloaded 25-foot pleasure craft, Thursday, approximately 10 miles east of Lake Worth. The Coast Guard Cutter Manatee crew and CBP surface asset crews arrived on scene and interdicted the migrants.
“It is extremely dangerous to take to the sea on an overloaded, homemade or makeshift vessel,” said Lt. Mark Tatara, commanding officer of the Cutter Charles Sexton. “Those who embark on these vessels are risking their lives and it is our duty to protect the safety of life at sea. People should not take to the sea in an attempt to migrate to the United States.”
Since Oct. 1, 2020, Coast Guard crews have interdicted 262 Haitians compared to:
445 Haitian migrants in Fiscal Year 2016
443 Haitian migrants in Fiscal Year 2017
792 Haitian migrants in Fiscal Year 2018
895 Haitian migrants in Fiscal Year 2019
418 Haitian migrants in Fiscal Year 2020
Once aboard a Coast Guard cutter, all migrants receive food, water, shelter and basic medical attention. Throughout the interdiction, Coast Guard crew members were equipped with personal protective equipment to minimize potential exposure to any possible case of COVID-19. There were no migrants in these cases reported to have any COVID-19 related symptoms.