A 25-foot boat with 26 men and women from the Dominican Republic got stopped in the Mona Passage near Puerto Rico, the U.S. Coast Guard announced.
The Coast Guard credited a Customs and Border Protection marine patrol aircraft with spotting the boat about 35 miles south of Mona Island. The 22 men and four women soon were met by the Coast Guard Cutter Reliance, which transferred them to the Heriberto Hernandez. The Hernandez took them to a Dominican Republic Navy boat.
Cmdr. Beau Power, the Coast Guard’s Sector San Juan Chief of Response, called the boat “a grossly overloaded makeshift vessel.”
Power continued, “The migrants were not wearing lifejackets and they were observed continuously bailing out water from their boat. Unfortunately, this is a common representation of what an illegal migrant voyage looks like each and every day, the conditions of the voyage are extremely dangerous and the migrants are always at risk of losing their lives at any given moment.”
© 2019 Miami Herald
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.