Local January 13, 2016 | 9:25 am

U.S. Coast Guard repatriates Dominican, Haitian boatpeople

Santo Domingo.- TheU.S. Coast Guard on Tuesday said it repatriated 28 Dominicans and returned fiveHaitian migrants to the Dominican Republic after two separate at-seainterdictions Friday and Sunday.

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

The US Coast Guard saidfive Dominican men were transferred to Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, where they face federalcharges while a Dominican Republic Navy patrol returned remaining 13 Dominicansto their home country.

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

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

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