US agencies repatriate 15 Dominican boatpeople
AGUADILLA, Puerto Rico.- Caribbean Air and Marine Branch (CAMB) crews, federal, and local law enforcement partners disrupted a human smuggling attempt near Puerto Rico on December 10, resulting in the apprehension, and repatriation, of 15 individuals.
On December 10, a Caribbean-based DHC-8 aircrew on patrol detected suspicious single-engine yola-type vessel operating without navigational lights off the coast of Puerto Rico. The MPA crew maintained surveillance and vectored in two Puerto Rico Police Department (PRPD) Marine Unit (FURA) crews to interdict.
Local marine authorities apprehended 15 individuals and seized the vessel.
Local authorities contacted the United States Coast Guard (USCG) to assist. The crew of the USCG cutter Joseph Doyle safely embarked 15 individuals after providing them with lifejackets, food, water, shelter, and basic medical attention. Later, the cutter transferred 15 aliens to a Dominican Navy vessel.