Coast Guard Interdicts 59 Cuban Migrants

MIAMI – The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Knight Island repatriated 59 Cuban migrants, from five interdictions, to Bahia de Cabañas, Cuba, Wednesday.

The crew of the Cutter Knight Island interdicted a rustic vessel with 10 Cuban migrants, Monday, 24 miles south of Key West, Fla. One migrant will be transferred to Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The crew of a Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Dash-8 aircraft located a suspicious vessel, with a large number of people on board heading north, Sept. 5. The Coast Guard was notified and the crew of the Cutter Confidence pursued the vessel until a boat crew from Station Islamorada, Fla, interdicted the 28-foot vessel using disabling fire on the engines, 22 miles southeast of Key Largo, Fla.

Eleven males, six females, three children and the two suspected smugglers were transferred to the Confidence. Three days later, one female migrant needed medical attention and was taken to a hospital in Key West. Because she had no relatives aboard the vessel, the decision was made to allow her three children to to be brought ashore and remain with her. Approximately four hours of being brought ashore, the female migrant made a complete recovery from her ailment and was released to CBP officials. The suspected smugglers were transferred to CBP officials in Islamorada.

The Cutter Knight Island stopped a rustic vessel with four Cuban migrants 65 miles south of Key West, Sept. 5.

Twenty Cuban migrants on a rustic vessel were interdicted by the crew of the Cutter Seahawk, Sept. 5, 62 miles south of Key West.

The Cutter Decisive interdicted 10 Cuban migrants from a rustic vessel 40 miles south of Marquesas, Fla., Sept. 4.

In addition to the five interdictions, crews from the Cutters Confidence, Tornado, Seahawk and the Sawfish successfully disrupted four attempted smuggling operations, dataining nine suspected smugglers. The nine suspects were transferred to CBP officials.

“The Coast Guard continues to maintain an aggressive presence in the Florida Straits and stopping people attempting to enter the U.S. illegally,” said Lt. j.g. Jennifer Paulson, a Coast Guard District Seven law enforcement duty officer. “The Coast Guard’s relationship with its Department of Homeland Security partners is also helping to contribute to successful interdictions and disruptions.”

The Sawfish is an 87-foot patrol boat homeported in Key West.
The Seahawk is an 87-foot patrol boat homeported in Carrabelle, Fla.
The Knight Island is a 110-foot patrol boat homeported in St. Petersburg, Fla.
The Tornado is a 179-foot coastal patrol boat homeported in Pascagoula, Miss.
The Decisive is a 210-foot Medium Endurance Cutter homeported in Pascagoula.
The Confidence is a 210-foot Medium Endurance Cutter homeported in Port Canaveral, Fla.

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