Coast Guard Interdicts 61 Cubans, 54 Dominicans

MIAMI – The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Kodiak Island repatriated 61 Cuban migrants, who were interdicted at sea in five separate events, to Bahia de Cabañas, Cuba, Wednesday and the Cutter Sapelo repatriated 54 Dominican Republic Migrants to La Romana, Dominican Republic, Tuesday.

The Coast Guard was assisted in two of the five Cuban migrant interdictions by the crews of cruise ships.

The Carnival cruise ship Valor spotted a rustic vessel Saturday with 10 migrants aboard about 40 miles southeast of Key West, Fla. The migrants were later transferred to the Coast Guard Cutter Valiant.

Two migrants were spotted Saturday by the Royal Caribbean cruise ship Liberty of the Seas about 30 miles east of Key Largo, Fla. The migrants were later transferred to the Coast Guard Cutter Confidence.

The Coast Guard Cutter Oak logged two interdictions including seven migrants aboard a rustic vessel 68 miles south of the Marquesas Islands, Fla., and 21 migrants aboard a rustic vessel 48 miles southeast of Key West Sept.19.

An U.S. Customs and Border Protection fixed-wing aircraft notified the Coast Guard after locating a go-fast and a fishing vessel southwest of Andros Island, Bahamas, Sept. 19. An HH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Air Station Clearwater, Fla., deployed in support of Operation Bahamas Turks and Caicos (OPBAT), and the CBP aircraft monitored the two vessels. The two boats eventually rendezvoused to transfer 27 migrants from the fishing vessel to the go-fast. After an eight hour, multi-agency effort, the go-fast was stopped by the Coast Guard Cutter Farallon eight miles west of Riding Rock, Bahamas. Two suspected smugglers were transferred to CBP officials in Key West and five migrants were transferred to Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

An HU-25 Falcon jet from Air Station Borinquen, Puerto Rico, spotted a yola approximately 15 miles north of Cabo Enguno, Dominican Republic, Monday. The Sapelo was diverted to interdict the yola and, once on scene, safely embarked 54 Dominican Republic migrants.

In addition to the five Cuban migrant interdictions and the Dominican migrant interdiction, Coast Guard crews successfully disrupted three suspected migrant smuggling operations and turned over six people to CBP officials for additional questioning.

Once aboard Coast Guard cutters, all migrants are provided food, water and any necessary medical treatment.

The cutter Kodiak Island is a 110-foot patrol boat homeported in St. Petersburg, Fla.

The cutter Farallon is a 110-foot patrol boat homeported in Miami.

The cutter Sapelo is a 110-foot patrol boat homeported in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The cutter Oak is a 225-foot buoy tender homeported in Charleston, S.C.

Confidence is a 210-foot medium endurance cutter homeported in Port Canaveral, Fla.

Valiant is a 210-foot medium endurance cutter homeported in Miami.

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