The crew of the coastguard vessel Tahoma of the coast guard in Puerto Rico today repatriated 20 of 24 Dominican immigrants to a Dominican navy vessel near Samaná (northeast of the Dominican Republic), following the interception of a boat on Saturday, a about five nautical miles (about 9.2 kilometers) west of Mona Island (Puerto Rico).
Four men, of intercepted immigrants, face possible federal prosecution by the US Attorney’s office. for the District of Puerto Rico, for illegally attempting to re-enter US territory.
Since October 2018, the Coast Guard along with the associated agencies of the federal public order and the Government of Puerto Rico have intercepted at least 969 immigrants and stopped several attempts to introduce contraband of narcotics by sea.
“Despite the challenging conditions, the Coast Guard crew involved in this event used their training and experience to successfully rescue all 24 people from a vessel that was not suitable for navigation,” said Corvette Captain Matthew Haddad. , Chief of Public Order of the coast guard of the San Juan sector in a statement.
“These illegal maritime immigration trips are extremely dangerous and put the safety of people on board in great danger.” The Coast Guard, in collaboration with our partners, remains prepared to intercept these smuggling events in an effort to prevent unnecessary loss of life. life, “he added.
During a routine patrol on Friday at Canal de la Mona, the crew of a Coast Guard aircraft HC-144 of the Miami air station detected a 22-foot (6.71 meters) boat, with an undetermined number of passengers on board , that was heading towards Puerto Rico.
The crew watched the immigrants drawing water continuously to prevent their boat from sinking.
The ship “Joseph Tezanos” was diverted and intercepted the immigrant boat on Saturday morning, when the crew embarked the 24 Dominican immigrants, 20 men and four women.
The crew of the Tezanos also had to destroy the boat of immigrants as it was a danger to navigation.
Subsequently, the immigrants were transferred aboard the coastguard vessel “Richard Dixon” and later to the coastguard “Tahoma” for their repatriation.
Once aboard a Coast Guard vessel, immigrants receive food, shelter and basic medical care. (EFEUSA) .-