Coast Guard: 79 Haitian migrants intercepted in sailboat in Lake Worth

79 migrants intercepted in Lake Worth inlet. (United States Coast Guard)

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. – The U.S Coast Guard was on scene as officials intercepted a sailboat containing 79 Haitian migrants at a Lake Worth inlet on Saturday night, authorities said.

Authorities said Coast Guard Cutter Rollin’ Fritch’s crew transferred 79 Haitians to Bahamian authorities following two suspected smuggling ventures about 8 miles east of Lake Worth Inlet.

Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office officials notified Sector Miami watchstanders of a suspicious 30-foot boat that was taking on water.

“Smugglers do not care whether your loved ones live or die,” said Lt. j.g Nicholas Fujimoto, Coast Guard District Seven. “Don’t waste your hard-earned money on smugglers and illegal voyages.”

According to officials, Coast Guard crews have interdicted 584 Haitian migrants compared to:

  • 7,175 Haitian Migrants in Fiscal Year 2022
  • 1,527 Haitian Migrants in Fiscal Year 2021
  • 418 Haitian Migrants in Fiscal Year 2020
  • 932 Haitian Migrants in Fiscal Year 2019
  • 609 Haitian Migrants in Fiscal Year 2018
  • 419 Haitian Migrants in Fiscal Year 2017

Authorities said once aboard the Coast Guard cutter, all the migrants received food, water, shelter and basic medical attention.

About the Author:

Ryan Mackey is our newest digital journalist at WPLG. He is New York born and South Florida raised.