Rescue Mission: Greek owned Ferry Kydon Joins U.S. Coast Guard in Saving Migrants off Mona Island

Kydon ferries del caribe 2.0b69fc

Mona Island, a nature reserve nestled between the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico, unfortunately attracts human traffickers seeking to transport migrants to the United States.

Consequently, the U.S. Coast Guard often conducts rescue operations in this area, sometimes with the assistance of compassionate civilian vessels.

On Monday, the crew of the Greek-owned ferry Kydon promptly responded to an emergency situation off Sardinera Beach, located on Mona Island.

While a significant portion of Mona Island's shoreline is jagged and impassable, Playa Sardinera presents a more inviting sight. This stretch of pristine white sand serves as the headquarters for the Park Ranger Corps, a division of Puerto Rico's natural resources department. Moreover, the beach benefits from the protection of a reef running parallel to its edge.

Late on Sunday night, a vessel carrying migrants capsized near the reef line just off Playa Sardinera. Six individuals found themselves in the water, their desperate screams catching the attention of the rangers stationed onshore.

Recognizing the urgent need for assistance, the Ranger Corps promptly contacted the U.S. Coast Guard at approximately 11:30 PM. The Coast Guard's San Juan base swiftly diverted the cutter USCGC Margaret Norvell and dispatched an Ocean Sentry search aircraft to scour the area for survivors.

In addition to this, Sector San Juan sought the assistance of the car ferry Kydon. Operating regular routes between Santo Domingo and San Juan, the Kydon was fortuitously passing near Mona Island and swiftly altered its course to lend support.

The Ocean Sentry aircrew reached the scene ahead of others and deployed a flare to illuminate the water's surface. Their keen eyes spotted an individual making their way towards the shore, prompting them to guide a rescue boat from the Kydon to retrieve the survivor. Once safely onboard, the survivor informed the crew that five more people remained in the water, awaiting rescue.

Meanwhile, the Ocean Sentry aircrew continued their search and were relieved to find that the remaining five migrants had successfully reached the beach at Playa Sardinera. The park rangers stationed there provided immediate assistance to these survivors.

Miraculously, all six migrants managed to survive the capsizing without sustaining any injuries. The Coast Guard and the Ranger Corps are now collaborating with Customs and Border Protection to facilitate the transfer and processing of all six individuals.

"These six individuals are incredibly fortunate to be alive," emphasized Cmdr. Gerard Wenk of Coast Guard Sector San Juan. "We cannot emphasize enough the dangers associated with embarking on a migrant voyage in the treacherous Mona Passage, particularly considering the harsh and remote environment of Mona Island, especially during the darkness of the night. Furthermore, migrants apprehended at sea will find themselves ineligible for parole and will be returned to their country of origin."

The Kydon, owned by Anek Lines of Greece, is a 7,000 deadweight tonnage (dwt) ropax ferry constructed in 1990.

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