Earlier this week, the Coast Guard also repatriated 64 Cuban migrants.
This repatriation is a result of four separate migrant interdictions at sea in the south Florida Straits. These events were Cubans attempting to illegally enter the United States on unseaworthy vessels commonly referred to as “rustics” or “chugs.” In these instances, the Coast Guard not only helped secure the U.S. border, but they also prevented these perilous sea voyages from ending in tragedy.
The Margaret Norvell, along with numerous other Coast Guard patrol boats and aircraft, aggressively patrol the Florida Straits to detect and deter illegal and unsafe maritime migration. Safety of life at sea is always the Coast Guard’s top priority.
Once aboard a Coast Guard cutter, all migrants receive food, water, shelter and basic medical attention.
“Coast Guard missions and operations in the Southeast remain unchanged. The Coast Guard strongly discourages attempts to illegally enter the country by taking to the sea,” said Capt. Mark Gordon, Coast Guard 7th District chief of response enforcement. “These trips are incredibly dangerous.”
Coast Guard assets involved in these interdictions were:
Coast Guard Cutter Margaret Norvell, a 154 foot fast response cutter homeported in Miami
Coast Guard Cutters Kathleen Moore and William Trump, 154-foot fast response cutters homeported in Key West, Florida
Coast Guard Cutter Mohawk, a 270-foot medium endurance cutter homeported in Key West, Florida
Coast Guard Station Islamorada, Florida, boatcrew
Since Oct. 1, the Coast Guard 7th District estimates that 4,084 Cubans 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.
For more information on how to legally immigrate to the U.S., call U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) at 1-800-375-5283 or visit the USCIS website at www.uscis.gov.