wplg logo

19 migrants transferred to Bahamas by Coast Guard

Migrants reported in good health by Coast Guard

U.S. Coast Guard logo
U.S. Coast Guard logo

On Saturday, 19 migrants were transferred by the U.S. Coast Guard to the Bahamas following an interdiction that occurred Thursday, approximately 12 miles east of Lake Worth Inlet, Florida.

There were 16 migrants from Haiti, two from Brazil and one from Ecuador, according to the Coast Guard.

The migrants were on a 26-foot vessel with 23 people aboard that was spotted at 3 a.m. Thursday, officials said.

A boat crew arrived on scene and brought the aboard the migrants, who were reported in good health, according to the Coast Guard.

One Bahamian, one Haitian and two Brazilians were brought ashore for further questioning by Homeland Security Investigations.

Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations law enforcement officers took custody of the vessel.

“These ventures are dangerous and can often lead to casualties,” said Cmdr. Jacob McMillan, Coast Guard Liaison officer, Bahamas, in a release. “The seas are unpredictable and unforgiving.”

The Coast Guard interdicted approximately 297 Haitian migrants in fiscal year 2021, which began Oct. 1, 2020, compared to 418 Haitian migrants in fiscal year 2020 and 932 in fiscal year 2019. These numbers represent the total number of at-sea interdictions, landings and disruptions in the Florida Straits, Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean.

Once aboard a Coast Guard cutter, all migrants receive food, water, shelter and basic medical attention. Throughout the interdiction, Coast Guard crew members were equipped with personal protective equipment to minimize potential exposure to any possible case of COVID-19.