US Coast Guard Cutter Intercepts Large Number of Haitian Immigrants
USCH Cutter 'Confidence' repatriates 219 Haitian migrants to Cap Haitien, Haiti.
Watchstanders at the 7th Coast Guard District command center were notified of a sail freighter northwest of Great Inagua, Bahamas, with 131 Haitian migrants aboard and dispatched the 'Confidence' to the scene to safely embark the migrants and repatriate them.
Once aboard a Coast Guard cutter, all migrants are provided with food, water, shelter and basic medical attention.
“U.S. Coast Guard policy is to deter and respond to dangerous, and illegal maritime migration by intercepting vessels pursuing perilous and illegal voyages," said Capt. Brendan McPherson, 7th Coast Guard District chief of enforcement. "Our primary concern is for the safety of these migrants, who are putting their lives at extreme risk in grossly overloaded vessels."
The Confidence and the other medium endurance cutters are slated for replacement by an Offshore Patrol Cutter. The new OPCs will operate more than 50 miles from land, carrying out the Coast Guard's maritime security and safety activities in support of national interests.
The OPC will be an economical, multi-mission ship, providing pursuit boat and helicopter capabilities and interoperability with other military and federal partners, superior to the cutters they replace. Equipped with modern sensors, the Offshore Patrol Cutter will provide the enhanced surveillance necessary to detect threats far from U.S. shores and meet the demands of the Coast Guard’s homeland security, search and rescue, law enforcement and other vital missions.