MIAMI – The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Thetis’ crew repatriated 88 people — including 62 males and 26 females who were all in a sinking vessel — on Sunday to Haiti.
An Air Station Miami HC-144 Ocean Sentry airplane crew spotted a vessel with the dozens of migrants on Tuesday about 18 miles north of Sagua La Grande, Cuba.
Air Station Miami notified Sector Key West watchstanders and when the cutter crew arrived the overloaded vessel was taking on water.
Lt. Connor Ives, the Coast Guard District Seven enforcement officer, said Haitian-American families in the U.S. need to encourage their loved ones in Haiti to avoid making the dangerous voyage.
“The risk for loss of life is great on these unsafe vessels,” Ives said.
The amount of Haitian migrants the Coast Guard crews have interdicted has increased. Since October, the Coast Guard reported finding 3,060 Haitian migrants at sea. It is more than double the Haitian migrants the Coast Guard interdicted last year.