Coastguard Joseph Tezanos crew repatriated 38 migrants to the Dominican Republic on Friday, following a ban on illegal travel Thursday in the waters of Mona Passage near Desecheo Island, Puerto Rico.
The ban is the result of the continued efforts of partner agencies of the Caribbean Border Interagency Group (CBIG) to combat the smuggling of illegal migrants.
The crew of a U.S. Customs and Border Protection maritime patrol plane detected the illegal trip on Friday morning, about 15 nautical miles northwest of Desecheo Island, Puerto Rico. Coast guard Joseph Tezanos responded to the sighting and banned the 35-foot vessel with the help of the cutter’s small boat. The cutter crew safely boarded the migrants from the makeshift vessel which was an overloaded vessel and was taking on water. A maritime unit from the Puerto Rican Police Joint Rapid Action Forces also responded and arrived at the scene to assist.
Before boarding the cutter Joseph Tezanos, the crew provided the migrants with life jackets. Once aboard a coast guard, migrants receive food, water and basic medical care.
âThe strong partnerships, collaboration and effective coordination between the Coast Guard and our navy partners CBIG and the Dominican Republic have saved the lives of all migrants in this matter and ensured their safe return. Dominican Republic, âsaid Captain Gregory H. Magee. , Commander of the Coast Guard of the San Juan sector. âTo anyone who is considering participating in an illegal trip, do not go to sea! These voyages are extremely dangerous, the ships are not seaworthy and most often severely overloaded. In addition, they have no rescue equipment and the conditions on board are inhumane.
Coast Guard Joseph Tezanos then encountered a Dominican Republic Navy ship just off Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, where the crew transferred and completed the repatriation of migrants to Dominican Republic Navy authorities. .
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