United States Coast Guard Repatriates 110 Migrants to Haiti

By  //  December 31, 2020

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MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew spoted 40-foot vessel overloaded with people

Haitian officials transfer migrants from Coast Guard Cutter Resolute to their boat, Dec. 22, 2020. Resolute’s crew stopped their voyage approximately 50 miles north of Cap-Haitien, Haiti out of an abundance of caution for safety of life at sea. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

MIAMI — The Coast Guard Cutter Resolute crew repatriated 110 Haitian migrants this week after stopping a voyage approximately 50 miles north of Cap-Haitien, Haiti.

A forward-deployed Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew spotted a 40-foot vessel overloaded with people.

Resolute’s crew diverted and brought the people aboard out of an abundance of caution for the safety of life at sea.

“I could not be prouder of the crew for safely interdicting and deterring migrant ventures through coordinated efforts to enforce U.S and partner nation treaties and laws,” Cmdr. Justin Vanden Heuvel, commander, Coast Guard Cutter Resolute.

“Resolute’s crew was exceptional in ensuring the safety of life at sea, as well as providing around-the-clock care for 110 guests and creating an atmosphere of compassion and dignity prior to repatriation.”

Haitian officials bring the 110 people back to Haiti after the Coast Guard Cutter Resolute crew stopped the voyage due to safety of life at sea concerns approximately 50 miles off Cap-Haitien, Haiti, Dec. 22, 2020. The Resolute is homeported in St. Petersburg, Florida. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

“Members of the U.S. Embassy Port au Prince continue to issue anti-migration messaging and to work with host nation government to develop and publish deterrence messaging on illicit maritime migration,” said Lt. Edwin Valentin, Coast Guard liaison officer, Haiti.

“We would like to thank Coast Guard Cutter Resolute, the Haitian Coast Guard, International Organization for Migration, National Office of Migration, and L’Institut du Bien-Etre Social et de Recherches for a safe, and well-coordinated repatriation effort.”

The Coast Guard has interdicted approximately 150 Haitian migrants in fiscal year 2021, which began Oct. 1, 2020, compared to 418 Haitian migrants in fiscal year 2020. These numbers represent the total number of at-sea interdictions, landings and disruptions in the Florida Straits, Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean.

Once aboard a Coast Guard cutter, all migrants, and search and rescue survivors, receive 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.

Coast Guard Cutter Resolute’s crew stops a migrant voyage approximately 50 miles off Cap-Haitien, Haiti, Dec. 18, 2020. Coast Guard Cutter Resolute is homeported in St. Petersburg, Florida.
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