NASSAU, The Bahamas, Friday November 25, 2011 – Some 172 Haitian migrants found in overcrowded boats near The Bahamas have been returned home following two separation operations by the US Coast Guard.
Sixty Haitians were spotted in an overloaded sail freighter a week ago by a Coast Guard helicopter crew.
The boat was interdicted by the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Confidence.
“Coast Guard crewmembers provided life jackets and safely embarked 60 Haitian migrants. The Haitian migrants were later transferred to the cutter Vigorous for repatriation,” the US Embassy said in a statement.
A day later, a second group of migrants was spotted on another overloaded Haitian sail freighter by another Coast Guard helicopter crew.
The embassy said the crews of the Coast Guard Cutters Northland and Vigorous, “arrived on scene and distributed life jackets to the passengers. The Vigorous crew embarked 112 Haitian migrants.”
The Haitians – 45 of them women- were handed over to the Civil Protection Office of Cap-Haitien, located on the country’s north coast.