58 Dominicans were repatriated and seven Haitians were returned to the Dominican Republic on a patrol boat just off the coast of Punta Cana on Monday.
These people were found, following the interdiction of an irregular migrant voyage vessel in Mona Passage waters near Puerto Rico.
According to reports, Coast Guard Cutter Richard Dixon interdicted a wooden makeshift boat Sunday night in Mona Passage waters shortly after it was detected by the aircrew of a Coast Guard Ocean Sentry aircraft.
“The migrants were observed continuously bailing water from the grossly overloaded vessel. Following the interdiction, the coast guard crew provided lifejackets to the migrants and safely embarked 58 males and four women who claimed Dominican Republic nationality as well as five men and two women who claimed Haitian nationality,” the report said.
The coast guard reportedly transported the interdicted group to Dominican Republic territorial waters where the repatriation was completed.
Coast Guard Cutter Richard Dixon commanding officer Lt. Nicholas Rogers, told the media that the excellent coordination and quick response efforts between the Coast Guard responding units and watch standers saved 65 lives from a possible tragic outcome.
“For those thinking of irregularly migrating we urge you to not take to the sea. This voyage is extremely dangerous and occurs aboard grossly overloaded and unseaworthy vessels. Your life and the life of all others in the voyage will be at risk,” he said.
From October 1, 2022, through December 31, 2022, the Coast Guard carried out 14 illegal voyage interdictions in Mona Passage and waters near Puerto Rico.
Interdicted during this period, are 419 non-US citizens including 327 Dominicans, 91 Haitians, and one of the unknown nationalities.