BROOKLYN, NY — The Coast Guard continues to discourage migrants from conducting dangerous illegal voyages on unsafe and unseaworthy vessels.
Last Wednesday a Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew, deployed to Great Inagua, Bahamas, detected a migrant vessel approximately 49 miles southeast of Great Inagua.
Watchstanders at the Coast Guard 7th District diverted the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Venturous (WMEC-625) to the vessel. The cutter Venturous crew, along with a Royal Bahamas Defence Force vessel, interdicted approximately 177 Haitian migrants, seven of those being minors, aboard an overloaded 45-foot wooden freighter.
Recently a Customs Air and Marine Branch aircraft detect a 20-foot pleasure craft approximately 46 miles east of Boca Raton, Florida and notified Coast Guard Sector Miami watchstanders. The watchstanders diverted the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter William Flores (WPC-1103), who interdicted the vessel with 14 Haitian migrants and two suspected smugglers.
A total of approximately 4,567 migrants have attempted to illegally enter the US via the maritime environment since October 1, the beginning of the 2019 fiscal year, compared to 4,302 migrants in the fiscal year 2018. Of that 4,567 migrants, 311 are Cuban migrants, 2,785 Haitian migrants, 1,361 Dominican migrants and 172 migrants of various nationalities attempting to enter into the United States illegally from the Bahamas.
These numbers represent the total number of at-sea interdictions, landings, and disruptions in the Florida Straits, the Caribbean, and Atlantic. Once aboard a Coast Guard cutter, all migrants receive food, water, shelter, and basic medical attention.