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**PHOTOS AVAILABLE** 117 Dominicans rescued by Coast Guard off grossly overloaded vessel

May 21, 2015


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MIAMI — The Coast Guard rescued 117 Dominican migrants east of the Dominican Republic, Wednesday afternoon.

Coast Guard Sector San Juan Command Center watchstanders received notification from the Caribbean Air and Marine Branch that their maritime patrol aircraft located an overloaded migrant vessel 20 nautical miles east of Samana Bay, Dominican Republic.

Sector San Juan watchstanders diverted the Coast Guard Cutter Charles Sexton who arrived on scene and safely embarked the 117 persons with no reported health concerns. The 93 males and 24 females were repatriated to La Romana Cruise Port, Dominican Republic, at approximately 8 a.m. Thursday.

"Taking to the sea in grossly overloaded vessels with no navigation and lifesaving equipment is extremely dangerous," said Senior Chief Petty Officer Daniel Capestany, Coast Guard Sector San Juan command center supervisor. "We are all fortunate that no one died and everyone was able to be safely returned to the Dominican Republic. The Coast Guard will continue to work with its international, interagency, and local partners to discourage illegal and unsafe maritime migration."

The Coast Guard Cutter Charles Sexton is a 154-foot Fast Response Cutter homeported in Key West, Florida.

Maritime migrant flow since Oct 1, 2014 (Fiscal Year 2015) is as follows:

2484 Cubans

1927 Haitians

438 Dominicans

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