US Coast Guard interdicts Haitian migrants off Southern Florida coast

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MIAMI,– The United States Coast Guard says rescue crews interdicted a 30-foot vessel with 25 Haitian migrants aboard after they called for help after taking on water about 30 miles northeast of Jupiter in Southern Florida. 

The US Coast Guard said the Station Lake Worth Inlet rescue crew determined that the vessel was overloaded and not in danger of sinking. 

“There were no reported medical concerns,” the US Coast Guard said. 

It said that US Coast Guard Cutter William Flores arrived on the scene “and embarked 25 Haitian nationals: nine adult males, nine adult females and seven accompanied minors for repatriation to Haiti.”

“Thankfully, the people aboard this vessel had a VHF radio to call for help, but there wasn’t any other lifesaving equipment on board,” said Senior Chief Petty Officer Jason Reynolds, command duty officer, Coast Guard Sector Miami. 

“The risk of loss of life is too great to take to the seas in overloaded, unseaworthy vessels and no lifesaving gear,” he added. 

Since October 1, 2020, the US Coast Guard said its crews had interdicted 181 Haitians compared to the fiscal year 2020, October 1, 2019 – September 30, 2020, where crews interdicted 418 Haitians.

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