Senin, 12 Oktober 2020

Haitian migrant groups detained at sea off Florida coast, Turks and Caicos Islands - Herald-Mail Media

MIAMI — A 25-foot pleasure craft carrying 23 undocumented Haitian migrants and two suspected Bahamian smugglers was intercepted Friday off the coast of Palm Beach.

The illegal craft was intercepted by the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Richard Etheridge and Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations after it was spotted approximately 10 miles east of Palm Beach.

The U.S. Coast Guard said during the interdiction at sea, its crew discovered 8 females, one of whom had to be medevaced during the interdiction; 15 males and two Bahamian males who are suspected of being smugglers. The suspected smugglers were transferred to Customs and Border Patrol for potential prosecution.

The interdiction off the Florida coast came on the same day that another group of Haitians — 206 — were caught trying to illegally enter the Turks and Caicos Islands.

The 145 males, 58 females and three children were intercepted at sea just west of Providenciales while traveling aboard a 45-foot wooden boat powered by two 45 horsepower Yamaha outboard engines.

During the operation, several migrants jumped overboard but were immediately detained, Turks and Caicos police said in a statement. The migrants have been handed over to immigration for processing and will be repatriated to Haiti.

The Coast Guard said approximately 418 Haitian migrants attempting to illegally enter the United States via the sea were interdicted during the 2020 fiscal year 2020, which began Oct. 1, 2019, and ended Sept. 30, 2020, compared with 885 Haitian migrants in fiscal year 2019.

These numbers represent the total number of at-sea interdiction, landings and disruptions in the Florida Straits, the Caribbean and Atlantic Ocean.

In recent months, the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince has been running ads on Haitian radios, warning Haitians of the danger at sea. Haitians, however, continue to ignore the warning even as the Haitian government insists the economy is improving.

"If you are considering taking part in an illegal voyage do not take to the sea, you are risking your life and the lives of everyone else aboard," Lt. Cmdr. Jane Sarnecky, commanding officer of the cutter Richard Etheridge, said. "The Florida Straits are dangerous and unforgiving, especially in the case of grossly overloaded and unseaworthy boats with inadequate lifesaving equipment aboard."

(c)2020 Miami Herald

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.


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The Link Lonk

October 13, 2020 at 03:59AM

Haitian migrant groups detained at sea off Florida coast, Turks and Caicos Islands - Herald-Mail Media


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