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9617: U.S. Coast Guard rescues 117 Haitians (fwd)

From: Greg Chamberlain <GregChamberlain@compuserve.com>

     MIAMI, Nov 16 (Reuters) - The U.S. Coast Guard rescued 117 Haitian
migrants off the coast of Haiti this week, including more than 100 packed
onto a sailboat, the Coast Guard said on Friday.
     An HU-25 Falcon jet patrolling on Wednesday spotted 114 migrants on an
overloaded 45-foot (15-metre) sailboat with little food and water, the
Coast Guard said in a statement.
     A cutter was dispatched to the boat and took the passengers --
including 26 women and children -- and crew on board.
     Aside from mild dehydration and minor abrasions, they were all in good
health. Shortly afterward, four migrants were rescued from a homemade
sailboat by the cutter in Haitian waters at the request of the Haitian
     As is customary in such cases, the 117 migrants will be repatriated to
     Thousands of Haitians set out for American shores on overcrowded boats
every year. The phenomenon climaxed during three years of brutal military
rule in Haiti in the early 1990s, and is still widespread as Haitians try
to escape poverty on the Caribbean island.