Coast Guard interdicts 57 Cuban migrants, repatriates 52

MIAMI — The crew of the Coast Guard Cutters Nantucket and Sawfish repatriated 52 Cuban migrants, from five separate interdictions at sea within the past six days, to Bahia de Cabañas, Cuba, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.

Early Saturday morning, the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Pea Island interdicted a rustic vessel with 15 Cuban migrants aboard approximately 35 miles south of Key West, Fla. Aboard the rustic vessel were 12 male and three female migrants.

That same morning, a Coast Guard Station Fort Lauderdale, Fla., boatcrew intercepted a go-fast vessel almost 12 miles east of Fort Lauderdale with 27 Cuban migrants and two suspected smugglers aboard. The migrants were transferred to the Coast Guard Cutter Drummond while the go-fast vessel and two suspected smugglers were brought ashore in Fort Lauderdale and turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials for further prosecution.

Saturday afternoon, a good Samaritan notified the Coast Guard that he was on scene with seven Cuban migrants in a rustic vessel approximately 35 miles south of Key West. The cutter Pea Island was diverted and, once on scene, embarked the seven migrants.

Sunday morning, a CBP Air and Marine Branch aircrew spotted a rustic vessel approximately 40 miles south of Key West. The Cutter Pea Island arrived on scene and the crew brought aboard the seven, all-male migrants.

Tuesday, the Coast Guard Cutter Valiant, with the assistance of a CBP Air and Marine Branch aircrew, interdicted one Cuban migrant on a plastic foam-type vessel 76 miles southeast of Key West. Crewmembers aboard the Valiant rehydrated the migrant by providing intravenous fluids.

Five Cuban migrants will be transferred to ICE officials in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba for further processing including the Cuban migrant found on the plastic foam-type vessel.

“Migrants attempting to illegally enter the United States by boat often travel aboard leaking, dangerously overloaded and ill-equipped vessels,” said Capt. Peter Brown, response chief for the Seventh Coast Guard District. “Illegal migrants riding aboard these vessels are putting their lives at extreme risk and so the Coast Guard will continue to patrol vigilantly to rescue and repatriate undocumented migrants who take to the sea and, together with our partner agencies, we will vigorously investigate and prosecute migrant smuggling and associated crimes.”

Once aboard Coast Guard cutters, all migrants are provided with food, water, shelter and necessary medical attention.

The Valiant is a 210-foot medium endurance cutter homeported in Miami Beach, Fla.
The Nantucket is a 110-foot patrol boat homeported in Miami
The Pea Island is a 110-foot patrol boat homeported in Key West.
The Drummond is a 110-foot patrol boat homeported in Key West.
The Sawfish is an 87-foot patrol boat homeported in Key West.

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