U.S. Coast Guard repatriates Dominican and Haitian boatpeople

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The U.S. Coast Guard said on Tuesday it repatriated 28 Dominicans and returned five Haitian migrants to the Dominican Republic after two separate at-sea interdictions Friday and Sunday.

It said a 20-foot wooden boat was found on Sunday carrying 16 men and two women around 50 nautical miles northwest of Aguadilla, Puerto Rico.

The US Coast Guard said five Dominican men were transferred to Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, where they face federal charges while a Dominican Republic Navy patrol returned remaining 13 Dominicans to their home country.

It said a 30-foot wooden boat with 15 Dominicans and five Haitians was found on Friday some 26 nautical miles northeast of Lavacama, eastern Dominican Republic. “All of the migrants on the boat were returned via Dominican Republic Navy patrol boat to the Dominican Republic.”

“The swift response, close coordination and collaboration between the Coast Guard, Customs and Border Protection and Dominican Republic Navy crews helped save 20 lives,” said Cmdr. Heather Kelly, sector San Juan chief of response, quoted by outlet .local10.com. “These migrants are very fortunate to have survived the perilous Mona Passage aboard a grossly overloaded makeshift vessel with no lifesaving equipment onboard.” [. . .]

For original article, see http://www.dominicantoday.com/dr/local/2016/1/13/57832/US-Coast-Guard-repatriates-Dominican-Haitian-boatpeople

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