Local February 21, 2024 | 10:20 am

US Coast Guard repatriates 72 migrants intercepted in Mona Channel

San Juan, PR.- On Tuesday, the US Coast Guard announced the repatriation of 72 migrants to the Dominican Republic, following the interception of the boat they were on in the Mona Channel within Puerto Rican waters.

A Customs and Border Protection multipurpose aircraft crew first identified a heavily overloaded makeshift vessel southwest of the Puerto Rican municipality of Aguadilla. The Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Doyle then intercepted the vessel, ensuring the safe boarding of migrants. Of the 72 individuals, 68 claimed Dominican Republic citizenship, and four identified as Haitians.

Commander Gerard Wenk, the response chief for the Coast Guard San Juan Sector, emphasized the collaborative efforts with local, federal, and Dominican Republic Navy partners in the ongoing commitment to preventing illegal maritime migration in the Mona Channel.

Wenk highlighted the perilous nature of such journeys, noting that these trips are “extremely dangerous,” with many vessels being “not seaworthy and very overloaded,” often prone to taking on water with inadequate life-saving equipment.

Providing context, Wenk revealed that from October 1, 2023, to January 31, 2024, the Coast Guard has intercepted 24 irregular voyages in the Mona Channel and nearby waters of Puerto Rico. This resulted in the apprehension of 780 migrants, predominantly Dominicans, numbering 742 in total.

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February 21, 2024 3:56 pm

Why would you go to PR. ?!
Dominican Republic is Switzerland for them …

February 23, 2024 1:38 pm
Reply to  Fundador

Dominican Republic is definitely not Switzerland, but I just don’t understand why people would even risk their lives embarking on these dangerous voyages in the open sea. Makes no sense.