The Coast Guard intercepted a boat off Mona Island and returned 53 Dominican and Haitian migrants, including 46 men and 7 women, to the Dominican Republic.
According to officials, the crew of the Customs and Air and Coast Guard multipurpose aircraft spotted the suspicious vessel near Moana Island and Bai Beach in Cabo Rojo on Wednesday.
Coast Guard watchdogs in the San Juan sector dispatched the Joseph Napier boat and informed the United Rapid Action Force (FURA) boat stations in the area, which responded to intercept the undocumented immigrants.
When the Joseph Napier boat arrived at the scene, two FURA maritime units stopped the makeshift boat.
Joseph Napier's crew carried 53 immigrants, including 46 men, 36 of whom claimed to be of Dominican origin and another 10 of Haitian descent.
Likewise, the Coast Guard picked up seven women, four of whom were Dominican and three of whom were Haitian.
The Joseph Napier boat transferred a group of settlers to a Dominican Republic naval vessel off the coast of Punta Cana.
“I am extremely proud of the professionalism and dedication of our crew,” said Matthew W., commanding officer of Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Napier. Carmine said in a statement.
For his part, Gerard Wenk, head of the response of the San Juan department, stressed: “Illegal migration journeys represent a danger for all migrants, especially in a place like Mona Island, where the sea conditions are very unpredictable and dangerous.”
From October 1, 2023 to January 12, 2024, the Coast Guard conducted 24 illegal cruise interceptions in waters near Puerto Rico.
The number of people detained during this period was 811 non-US citizens, including 745 Dominicans and 66 Haitians.