MIAMI – The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Kathleen Moore repatriated 50 Cuban migrants to Bahia de Cabañas, Cuba, Tuesday.
The 50 migrants repatriated were a result of five separate interdictions of chugs, or rustic vessels, in the Florida Straits in the last week.
“We discourage anyone from taking to the sea and attempting to reach U.S. soil illegally, they are risking their lives with very little chance of success,” said Capt. Mark Gordon, chief of enforcement for the Coast Guard 7th District. “Navigating the Florida Straits can be extremely dangerous for the unprepared on illegal voyages and often leads to injury or death.”
Once aboard a Coast Guard cutter, all migrants receive food, water, shelter and medical attention.
Since Oct. 1, at least 5,043 Cubans have attempted to illegally migrate to the U.S. via the maritime environment compared to 4,473 in fiscal year 2015. These statistics represent the total number of at-sea interdictions, landings and disruptions in the Florida Straits, the Caribbean and Atlantic.
The Coast Guard Cutter Kathleen Moore is a 154-foot fast response cutter homeported in Key West, Florida.