U.S. Coast Guard Repatriates 12 Migrants to Dominican Republic Following Interdiction at Sea

By  //  June 18, 2020

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interdiction is result of ongoing efforts in support of Operation Caribbean Guard

The Coast Guard Cutter Winslow Griesser repatriated 12 migrants to the Dominican Republic Navy Sunday in waters just off Samaná, Dominican Republic, following the interdiction an illegal migrant voyage Saturday in the Mona Passage. (U.S. Coast Guard image)

(U.S. COAST GUARD) – The Coast Guard Cutter Winslow Griesser repatriated 12 migrants to the Dominican Republic Navy Sunday in waters just off Samaná, Dominican Republic, following the interdiction an illegal migrant voyage Saturday in the Mona Passage.

The interdiction is the result of ongoing efforts in support of Operation Caribbean Guard and the Caribbean Border Interagency Group CBIG.

“Thanks to the quick response of the cutter Winslow Griesser, 12 lives were removed from a very dangerous situation,” said Cmdr. Beau Powers, Sector San Juan chief of response.

“Unfortunately in this case, like in most illegal voyages in the Mona Passage, the migrants took to the sea aboard a grossly overloaded and unseaworthy vessel, with no lifesaving equipment aboard.”

During a routine patrol Saturday afternoon, the crew of a Coast Guard HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircraft detected a suspect migrant vessel, approximately 30 nautical miles northwest of Aguadilla, Puerto Rico.

Coast Guard watchstanders at Sector San Juan diverted the cutter Winslow Griesser which arrived on-scene, stopped the 25-foot makeshift boat, and embarked 10 men and two women, who were reported to be Dominican Republic nationals.

Coast Guard watchstanders at Sector San Juan diverted the cutter Winslow Griesser which arrived on-scene, stopped the 25-foot makeshift boat, and embarked 10 men and two women, who were reported to be Dominican Republic nationals. (U.S. Coast Guard image)

Once aboard a Coast Guard cutter, all migrants received food, water, shelter and basic medical attention.

Throughout the interdiction Coast Guard crewmembers were equipped with Personal Protective Equipment to minimize potential exposure to any possible case of COVID-19. No migrants were reported to be sick or to have any COVID-19 related symptoms.

Cutters Winslow Griesser is a 154-foot fast response cutter homeported in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Operation Caribbean Guard is a Department of Homeland Security multi-agency law enforcement operation to support ongoing efforts in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands being executed under the San Juan Regional Coordinating Mechanism (SJ ReCoM)/Caribbean Border Interagency Group (CBIG).

CBIG was formally created to unify efforts of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Puerto Rico and Puerto Rico Police Joint Forces of Rapid Action, in their common goal of securing the borders of Puerto Rico against illegal migrant and drug smuggling.

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