September 24, 2008
U.S. Coast Guardby PA1 Jennifer Johnson
MIAMI - The Coast Guard Cutter Diligence repatriated 83 Haitians to Cap Haitien, Haiti, after being found aboard a sail freighter.
Crewmembers aboard a Coast Guard HU-25 Falcon jet located a 40-foot sail freighter, 30 miles southeast of Great Inagua, Bahamas. Working closely with the Royal Bahamian Defense Force, the 83 Haitian migrants were interdicted and safely embarked on the Diligence.
"The U.S. Coast Guard continues its repatriation operations," said Capt. Dean Lee, acting Seventh Coast Guard District commander. "Any illegal Haitian migrants interdicted at sea will be repatriated back to Haiti. As always, our primary concern is safety of life at sea and tragically many have lost their lives while attempting this treacherous trip in unsafe and overloaded vessels. There are safe and legal means by which to enter the U.S."
The Coast Guard recognizes the devastation Haiti has felt due to the recent hurricanes and was one of the first federal agencies to deliver humanitarian aid in the wake of the recent deadly storms. The Coast Guard continues to provide humanitarian support to the country by delivering supplies including hygiene items, food, water, plastic sheeting, medical supplies and clothing. The Coast Guard cutter Tampa delivered 8,000 pounds of humanitarian relief supplies to Port-au-Prince, Haiti.