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82 Haitian and Cuban migrants handed over to Bahamian authorities, Coast Guard says

Coast Guard Cutter Campbell’s crew member feeding a baby during transfer of 67 Haitians to Bahamian authorities near Anguilla Cay, Bahamas, April 11, 2022. (U.S. Coast Guard Southeast/TNS)

A U.S. Coast Guard crew transferred 82 Haitians and Cubans — including babies — to Bahamian authorities late last week after they were stopped in the country’s waters, the military branch said Sunday.

The Florida Keys-based crew handed over 67 Haitians and 15 Cubans to the Royal Bahamian Defence Force on Friday after they were detained near Anguilla Cay — over 100 miles southwest of Key West — in two separate stops, the Coast Guard told the Herald in a news release.

Migrants are taken to the Bahamas when they are found in Bahamian waters.

Only hours before the transfer, the crew spotted an overloaded chug, or small boat, on Friday, taking 15 Cuban men aboard “for safety of life at sea concerns,” according to the Coast Guard. On April 11, another crew found an overloaded sail freighter, bringing 51 men, 10 women and six children — all Haitians — aboard due to safety concerns.

“These types of voyages are extremely dangerous,” said Lt. Cmdr. Jason Neiman, Coast Guard District Seven public affairs officer. “If our cutters were not patrolling the waters, who knows what would have happened to these people.”

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