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News > Haiti

US Coast Guard Rescues 12 Haitians Stranded on Monito Island

  • Haitian migrants at Monito island, Nov. 15, 2022.

    Haitian migrants at Monito island, Nov. 15, 2022. | Photo: Twitter/ @noticel

Published 17 November 2022

Monito is located in the Mona strait, which is a frequent migration route in the Caribbean Sea.

On Wednesday, the U.S. Coast Guard reported the rescue of seven Haitian men and five women who were abandoned by human traffickers on Monito Island, in Puerto Rico.


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The rescue was part of ongoing multi-agency efforts in support of Operation Caribbean Guard and the Caribbean Border Interagency Group (CBIG).

On Monday morning, Coast Guard lookouts in San Juan were alerted by U.S. Border Patrol agents from the Ramey Sector, who reported a small campfire in the uninhabited Monito Island nature reserve.

The crew of the coast guard ship Joseph Tezanos investigated the events and confirmed that there was a group of unidentified people stranded on Monito Island. After the rescue, the survivors reported that they had been abandoned there for five days.

"I congratulate the crew for doing an extraordinary job by flawlessly, safely executing a high-risk evolution, which saved the lives of 12 people," said Lt. Henry Ward, the commanding officer of the Tezanos.

Once aboard the Tezanos, the Haitian migrants received food, water and basic medical care.
Monito Island is located in the Mona Passage, which is a strait that separates the islands of Hispaniola and Puerto Rico and is a frequent migration route in the Caribbean Sea.

This year, the authorities have recorded two shipwrecks and 16 Haitian deaths in that area. On May 12, north of the Puerto Rican islet of Desecheo, a ship capsized, killing 11 Haitian women.

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