Marine Link
Thursday, October 27, 2016

Haitian Migrants Forced to Walk the Plank: Coast Guard Rescue

June 19, 2014

Haiti Migrant rescue: Photo USCG

Haiti Migrant rescue: Photo USCG

The Coast Guard says it repatriated 19 Haitian migrants from an intediction in the Mona Passage, including a pair of migrants who had to be rescued after they were thrown into the sea by the people-smugglers.

A group of 19 migrants was detected by a Coast Guard aircraft west of Mona Island, Puerto Rico. Coast Guard Sector San Juan diverted the Coast Guard Cutter Key Largo to interdict the migrant vessel and informed federal law enforcement partner agencies.

Upon the cutter Key Largo’s arrival on scene, the smugglers, in an attempt to flee the area and avoid interdiction, allegedly threatened the migrants onboard and forced two Haitians, including a minor, overboard without life jackets. The crew of the Key Largo saved the two Haitians and continued to pursue the suspect vessel.

During the pursuit, a patrolling U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Air and Marine Operations aircraft was able to maintain surveillance of the fleeing vessel until it was relieved by a Coast Guard HC-144 Maritime Patrol aircraft deployed to Puerto Rico from Coast Guard Air Station Miami.

The suspected smugglers were later apprehended by Dominican Republic law enforcement authorities.

This incident demonstrates just how ruthless smugglers are. They have no regard for human life and are only seeking to profit from this illicit activity,” said Lt. Daniel E. Stepler, Coast Guard Cutter Key Largo commanding officer.

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Oct 2016 - Marine Design Annual

Maritime Reporter and Engineering News’ first edition was published in New York City in 1883 and became our flagship publication in 1939. It is the world’s largest audited circulation magazine serving the global maritime industry, delivering more insightful editorial and news to more industry decision makers than any other source.

Maritime Reporter E-News subscription

Maritime Reporter E-News is the subsea industry's largest circulation and most authoritative ENews Service, delivered to your Email three times per week

Subscribe for Maritime Reporter E-News