MIAMI (CMC) – The United States Coast Guard on Friday said it repatriated 180 Haitian migrants following an interdiction 25 miles south of Rodriguez Key, Florida.
According to the Coast Guard, on Monday, a good Samaritan alerted Sector Key West watchstanders of an overloaded sailing vessel, following which the Coast Guard responded, along with Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations crews.
At about 7:00 pm (local time), the US Coast Guard said, the 50-foot sailing vessel hit a sand bar south of Whale Harbor, Florida, “resulting in multiple reports of people in the water.”
“One person was medevac’d to Jackson Memorial Hospital (in Miami) for further evaluation,” said the US Coast Guard, disclosing that 89 men, 55 women, and 46 children were aboard the cutter.
“The remaining 10 people are still going through a joint interagency process, and disposition has yet to be decided.”
“These people were packed into an overloaded, unsafe vessel without safety equipment,” said Lieutenant C Box, Coast Guard District Seven. “The weather was so bad, these people are lucky we got to them when we did.”
Since Octobrer 1, the Coast Guard said its crews have interdicted 585 Haitian migrants compared to 7,175 in Fiscal Year 2022; 1,527 in Fiscal Year 2021; 418 in Fiscal Year 2020; 932 in Fiscal Year 2019; 609 in Fiscal Year 2018; and 419 in Fiscal Year 2017.