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Press Release | Feb. 1, 2024

Coast Guard, federal, local interagency responders search for possible survivors of capsized migrant vessel in Camuy, Puerto Rico

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Coast Guard MH-60T Jayhawk helicopter aircrews and the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Donald Horsley continue searching with federal and local emergency response agencies, Thursday, for additional possible survivors of a capsized migrant boat just off the coast of Camuy, Puerto Rico.

So far, response agencies recovered two deceased migrants from the water and rescued 30 survivors, who remain in federal custody.  Two survivors were transported to a local hospital Wednesday, including a four-month pregnant woman.

Coast Guard watchstanders in Sector San Juan were contacted by Border Patrol agents at approximately 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, who relayed a communication from Puerto Rico Police Joint Forces of Rapid Action reporting a migrant vessel was approaching the coast of Camuy, Puerto Rico.  Shortly thereafter, watchstanders were notified the migrant vessel capsized in the breaking surf, approximately 300 yards from shore, throwing the people into the water.

Watchstanders directed the launch of two Coast Guard MH-60T Jayhawk helicopters and the Coast Guard Donald Horsley to search for and rescue possible survivors.  Customs and Border Protection, Puerto Rico Police Joint Force of Rapid Action, Puerto Rico Emergency Management Bureau, Quebradillas and other municipal emergency management, and Emergency Medical Service rescue units also responded.

Survivors reported that there were between 30 to 50 people aboard the capsized vessel.

The Coast Guard, along with its Homeland Security Task Force – Southeast partners, maintains a continual presence with air, land, and sea assets in the Florida Straits, the Windward Passage, the Mona Passage, and the Caribbean Sea. The HSTF-SE combined, multi-layered approach is designed to protect the safety of life at sea while preventing unlawful maritime entry to the United States and its territories. 

Since Oct. 1, 2023, through Jan. 12, 2024, the Coast Guard has carried out 24 unlawful irregular migration voyage interdictions in the Mona Passage and waters near Puerto Rico. Interdicted during this period, are 811 non-U.S. citizens including 745 Dominicans, and 66 Haitians.

Make a difference on land, at sea or in the air with the Coast Guard.  Visit to find out how to be part of a team. 

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