WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – U.S. authorities recently turned over five Haitian children attempting to get to the United States by boat to the Bahamas.
Lt. Matthew Pinhey, with the Coast Guard 7th District surface operations, said in a statement announcing their release Tuesday afternoon that they are discouraging migrants from embarking in the dangerous voyage.
"Attempting to enter the country this way is not worth the risk," Pinhey said.
The statement reported the boy and the four girls were traveling with eight men and three women inside an unlit 30-foot cabin cruiser heading towards West Palm Beach. Authorities spotted them about 12 miles east of Boynton Beach.
A Customs and Border Protection crew in an aircraft detected the boat and the Palm Beach Sheriff's Office reported it to the U.S. Coast Guard. Two Coast Guard boats intercepted the migrants.
The Coast Guard crews learned the children, six of the men and three of the women were from Haiti. Another migrant in the boat was from the Dominican Republic and the suspected smuggler was from the Bahamas.
Aside from the five children, the Coast Guard also took five of the adults traveling with them to the Bahamas. The crew also transferred the other six men to Homeland Security Investigations agents.