The United States Coast Guard Cutter Heriberto Hernandez interdicted fourteen illegal Caribbean migrants in a makeshift vessel and returned them to the Dominican Republic.
The Heriberto Hernandez crew interdicted the Dominican Republic nationals on Monday.
They were in the makeshift vessel in Mona Passage waters off the West Coast of Puerto Rico.
Following the interdiction, cutter Heriberto Hernandez’s crew embarked the Dominican nationals.
The crew then transported the group to Dominican Republic territorial waters and transferred them to a Dominican Republic Navy vessel for repatriation.
United States Coast Guard Sector San Juan Commander Captain Jose E. Diaz warned against undertaking an unlawful, irregular migration at sea.
“Don’t take to the sea! Your life will be in danger since these vessels are unseaworthy, highly unstable and have little or no lifesaving equipment, ” Diaz observed.
Since October 1, 2022, through September 30, 2023, the Coast Guard has carried out 67 unlawful irregular maritime migration voyage interdictions in the Mona Passage and waters near Puerto Rico.
Interdicted during the period were 2,161 non-U.S. citizens, the majority of whom were Dominican Republic nationals, followed by Haitians and Venezuelans.