MIL-OSI Security: Coast Guard rescues 27 Haitians stranded on Monito Island, Puerto Rico following illegal voyage


Source: United States Coast Guard

Coast Guard rescues 27 Haitians stranded on Monito Island, Puerto Rico following illegal voyage

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico —  Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Doyle’s crew conducted a rescue operation June 7 and June 8, 2022 in which 27 Haitians were safely recovered from the rocky cliffs of ‘Isla Monito,’ Puerto Rico.

The rescue was part of ongoing multi-agency efforts in support of Operation Caribbean Guard and the Caribbean Border Interagency Group (CBIG).

While on a routine patrol of the Mona Passage the night of June 6, 2022, the crew of a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) marine enforcement aircraft detected an illegal voyage. The Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Napier responded to interdict the vessel. Once on scene, the vessel had already offloaded a group of 27 Haitians on Monito Island and the three suspected smugglers were fleeing the scene. Shortly thereafter, the cutter Joseph Napier stopped the makeshift boat and detained the suspected smugglers.

The cutter Joseph Doyle arrived to the shores of Isla Monito June 7, 2022 and assessed situation as dire. Once the cutter Joseph Doyle and its small boat were on scene, the stranded Haitians made their way down the rocky slopes and nine of them jumped into the water from where they were rescued. Assessing the risk of the rescue, Doyle delayed further approaches to the shore until safer conditions arrived the following day. In the meantime, Doyle’s small boat transferred food, water, and critical supplies to those remaining on the island. During high tide the following morning, Doyle’s crew and small boat successfully recovered the remaining 18 survivors.

“I am enormously proud of the skill and professionalism cutter Joseph Doyle’s crew displayed through this challenging rescue,” said Lt. Cmdr. Charles Wilson, Cutter Joseph Doyle commanding officer. “This is yet another example of the dangers presented to those who embark on illegal voyages, we are extremely thankful that we were able to resolve this safely and without injuries.”

Once onboard cutter Joseph Doyle, the migrants were provided food, water, shelter, and basic medical care. All 27 Haitians and the three suspected smugglers were transferred to U.S Border Patrol agents in Mayaguez, with the help of a Puerto Rico Police Joint Forces of Rapid Action marine unit.

Cutters Joseph Doyle and Joseph Napier are Coast Guard 154-foot fast response cutters homeported in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Since Oct. 1, 2021 to May 31, 2022, the Coast Guard has carried out 64 illegal voyage interdictions in Mona Passage and Caribbean waters near Puerto Rico.   Interdicted during this period, are 1,706 non-U.S. citizens comprised mostly of Dominican Republic and Haitian nationals (1,235 Dominicans, 370 Haitians, 01 Cuban, 1 Ecuadorian, 52 Venezuelan, 12 Uzbek, 35 Unknown)”.

  • 617 Dominican, 83 Haitians, 7 Brazilian in Fiscal Year 2021
  • 1,095 Dominican, 11 Haitians, 3 Venezuelan, 13 Unknown in Fiscal Year 2020
  • 1,027 Dominican, 10 Haitians, 3 Brazilian, 1 Cuban in Fiscal Year 2019

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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