15 migrants and a suspected smuggler stopped east of Boynton Beach, Coast Guard says

15 migrants and a suspected smuggler stopped east of Boynton Beach, Coast Guard says
(Source: U.S. Coast Guard)

The Coast Guard says it found 15 migrants and a suspected smuggler in an unlit 30-foot cabin cruiser 12 miles east of Boynton Beach on Wednesday July 3, 2019.

It said the group consisted of 14 Haitian men, women and children, a Dominican man as well as a Bahamian male.

They were given food, water, shelter and basic medical needs, according to the Coast Guard.

A crew transferred 10 Haitian adults and children to Bahamas authorities and social services and the rest, including the suspected smuggler, into the custody of Homeland Security Investigations, the Coast Guard said.

"The Coast Guard maintains a focused and coordinated effort with multiple agency assets to interdict any attempt to unlawfully immigrate to the United States by sea," said Lt. Matthew Pinhey, Coast Guard 7th District surface operations in a written statement. “Attempting to enter the country this way is not worth the risk and we discourage people from try to embark on these dangerous voyages.”

The Coast Guard said it made the interdiction following a report from the Palm Beach Sheriff's Office of a Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations aircraft which detected the unlit boat heading towards West Palm Beach.

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