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US Coast Guard intercepts boat with more than 300 Haitians

Miami, Feb 17 (EFE).- An “overloaded” boat carrying more than 300 Haitians was intercepted before reaching the United States coast, authorities reported Thursday.

The US Coast Guard didn’t specify the location in its social media post about the Wednesday incident, but spoke of an “80-foot-long (24-meter) motor boat,” which was trying to “illegally” reach the coast.

The group of Haitians was made up of men, women and children, it added.

This is at least the second recent massive attempt by Haitians trying to reach US shores by sea.

In late January, the coast guard intercepted a sailboat in Bahamian waters carrying more than 390 Haitians.

A video released at the time by the coast guard showed aerial images of a precarious sailing boat packed with immigrants, which was probably sailing towards the coast of Florida, at the time of the interception.

The Haitians were picked up by a coast guard vessel and transferred to Bahamian authorities.

The coast guard said Thursday on Twitter that “the passages of the Florida Straits, Leeward and Mona, are unpredictable and dangerous, especially on ships that are not seaworthy.”

The chief of the Miami Sector of the Border Patrol, Walter N. Slosar, recently reported on Twitter that since Oct. 1, 2022 the Miami sector saw an increase compared to the previous year of up to 400 percent of people who arrive by sea irregularly and are detained upon disembarking.

The Florida Division of Emergency Management recently reported increased monitoring of the Florida coasts due to “massive migration” detected and after the declaration of a state of emergency by Republican Governor Ron DeSantis. EFE


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