Coast Guard Cutter Knight Island repatriates 45 Cuban migrants

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MIAMI — The Coast Guard Cutter Knight Island repatriated 45 Cuban migrants to Bahia de Cabañas, Cuba, Wednesday.

These repatriations are a result of two separate interdictions of people attempting to illegally migrate to the United States through the Florida Straits.

On Saturday, the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Dauntless interdicted 25 migrants aboard an aluminum rustic vessel southwest of Key West, Florida. Later in the day, the Dauntless interdicted another 20 migrants south of Dry Tortugas, Florida. All of the migrants were safely removed from their unseaworthy vessels and were embarked aboard the Dauntless where they received food, water and basic medical attention.

“Along with our Department of Homeland Security and international partners, the Coast Guard continues to robustly patrol the Florida Straits and Caribbean sea to prevent migrants from taking the perilous and illegal maritime journey to the United States. Once aboard a Coast Guard cutter, we will seek to quickly repatriate illegal migrants to their countries of origin,” said Capt. Mark Gordon, Chief of Response Enforcement for the Seventh Coast Guard District in Miami.

Coast Guard assets involved in the cases were:

  • The Coast Guard Cutter Knight Island, a 110-foot patrol boat homeported in Key West, Florida.
  • Coast Guard Cutter Dauntless, a 210-foot medium endurance cutter homeported in Galveston, Texas.
  • Coast Guard Cutter Charles David Jr., a 154-foot fast response cutter homeported in Key West.

In fiscal year 2014, the Coast Guard 7th District estimates that 5,176 Haitians, 3,495 Cubans and 566 Dominicans have attempted to illegally migrate via the sea. These numbers represent the total amount of at-sea interdictions, landings and disruptions in the Florida Straits, the Caribbean and Atlantic.

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