On Monday, the Coast Guard Cutter Isaac Mayo crew located a rustic vessel northwest of Havana, Cuba, with 39 suspected Cuban migrants aboard and safely embarked all of the migrants. No medical concerns were reported.
“Safety of life at sea continues to be the Coast Guard’s primary concern,” said Capt. Mark Gordon, chief of enforcement for the Coast Guard 7th District. “The dangerous waters of the Florida Straits can be unforgiving for the unprepared on ill advised and illegal voyages. Immigration policies have not changed and we urge people not to take to the ocean in unseaworthy vessels. It is illegal and extremely dangerous.”
Once aboard a Coast Guard cutter, all migrants receive food, water, shelter and basic medical attention.
The Coast Guard has observed a steady increase in illegal maritime migration attempts from Cuba to the Southeastern U.S. since the U.S. announcement of normalized diplomatic relations with Cuba in December 2014.
Since Oct. 1, the Coast Guard 7th District estimates that 3,140 Cubans have attempted to illegally migrate via the sea. This number represents the total number of at-sea interdictions, landings and disruptions in the Florida Straits, the Caribbean and Atlantic.
The Coast Guard Cutter Isaac Mayo is a 154-foot fast response cutter homeported out of Key West, Florida.