68 migrants rescued from ‘severely overcrowded’ boat close to Puerto Rico

68 migrants rescued from ‘severely overcrowded’ boat close to Puerto Rico

1 of three | American customs officers on Friday confirmed they rescued 68 undocumented migrants from an overloaded ship close to Puerto Rico. File Photograph by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

Could 24 (UPI) — American customs officers on Friday confirmed they rescued 68 undocumented migrants from an overloaded ship close to Puerto Rico.

Brokers aboard a U.S. Customs and Border Safety Air and Marine Operations 41-foot Coastal Interceptor Vessel were initially alerted to the suspicious vessel Monday, later detecting the boat close to Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico.

The boat initially didn’t reply to directives to cease. At one level, a crew member “endangered a minor feminine by holding her towards her will over an outboard engine,” CBP mentioned in an announcement.

Brokers finally compelled the boat to cease.

“Air and Marine Operations crews are prepared to answer harmful maritime conditions like this,” U.S. CBP Deputy Director of Marine Operations on the Caribbean Air and Marine Department Melvin Garcia mentioned within the assertion.

“This case might have changed into a tragedy with the smugglers’ lack of regard for human life and the location of so many individuals on a particularly overloaded vessel.”

The U.S. Coast Guard and Puerto Rico Police have been additionally concerned within the operation.

The 68 migrants got life jackets and faraway from the “severely overloaded” vessel to a close-by Coast Guard cutter.

The AMO did elaborate on what occurred to the suspected operators of the boat or the place the migrants have been taken.

The company within the 2023 fiscal yr carried out operations leading to 1,004 arrests and 89,909 apprehensions of undocumented migrants.

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