Coast Guard Intercepts, Repatriates 64 Cuban Migrants

MIAMI – Cuban migrants interdicted in four events were repatriated by the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Chandeleur to Bahia de Cabanas, Cuba, Sunday.

The crew of the Cutter Drummond interdicted a go-fast vessel carrying 29 migrants and two suspected smugglers 35 miles south of Dry Tortugas, Fla., Monday. The two suspected smugglers were transferred to Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials in Key West, Fla.

The aircrew on a Customs and Border Protection aircraft located a go-fast vessel 75 miles west of Dry Tortugas, July 22. The Cutter Diligence launched their small boat and deployed, Air Station Miami HH-65 Dolphin helicopter to interdict the vessel. The Diligence crew embarked 22 Cuban migrants and two suspected smugglers from the vessel. The two suspected smugglers were transferred to ICE officials in Key West. One of the 22 Cuban migrants will be transferred to ICE officials in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

An Air Station Miami HH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircrew deployed aboard the Cutter Tampa located 10 Cuban migrants aboard a rustic vessel 40 miles south of Islamorada, Fla., July 22 and brought them aboard without incident.

The Coast Guard received a report that a Good Samaritan located a rustic vessel with four Cuban migrants aboard approximately 15 miles south of Big Pine Key, Fla., July 21. Coast Guard Station Marathon, Fla., dispatched their 33-foot Special Purpose Craft that embarked the migrants and later transferred them to the Cutter Elm.

“Today’s repatriations should send a clear message to smugglers and those who hire them,” said Lt. j.g. Eric Pare, a Coast Guard Seventh District law enforcement duty officer. “We will continue to aggressively patrol the waters surrounding Florida and we will interdict people trying to illegally enter the United States from the sea. Those who have violated laws will be held accountable in a court of law.”

Once aboard Coast Guard cutters, all migrants receive food, water and any necessary medical attention.

The Cutter Elm is a 225-foot seagoing buoy-tender homeported in Atlantic Beach, N.C.
The Cutter Tampa is a 270-foot medium-endurance cutter homeported in Portsmouth, Va.
The Cutter Diligence is a 210-foot medium-endurance cutter homeported in Wilmington, N.C.
The Cutter Drummond is a 110-foot patrol boat homeported in Key West.
The Cutter Chandeleur is a 110-foot patrol boat homeported in Miami.

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