Coast Guard interdicts and repatriates 20 Cuban migrants

Southeastern Coast Guard NewsSan Juan – The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Cushing repatriated 20 Cuban migrants to La Romana, Dominican Republic on the afternoon of Aug. 18, following an at-sea interdiction by Caribbean Border Interagency Group law enforcement authorities Aug. 17 off the southwestern coast of Mona Island, Puerto Rico.

Coast Guard Sector San Juan watchstanders were contacted by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Caribbean Air and Marine Branch (CAMB) agents Aug. 17, who reported that agents aboard a CBP maritime surveillance aircraft had located a migrant vessel approximately six nautical miles off the southwestern coast of Mona Island, Puerto Rico.

Coast Guard watchstanders diverted the Coast Guard Cutter Cushing to interdict the migrant vessel. The Cushing arrived on scene and intercepted the vessel with 15 Cuban men and five women onboard. During the interdiction, the smuggler aggressively maneuvered the boat causing it to capsize. Coast Guard and Good Samaritans on scene responded rapidly saving all 20 migrants who were then embarked aboard the Cushing.

The crew of the Cushing repatriated the Cuban migrants to La Romana, Dominican Republic, where they were transferred to the custody of awaiting Dominican Republic Navy authorities.

The Coast Guard Cutter Cushing is a 110-foot patrol boat homeported in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

In July 2006, CBIG was formally created to unify efforts of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the Office of Border Patrol – Ramey Sector, the United States Attorney‘s Office for the District of Puerto Rico, and Puerto Rico Police Joint Forces of Rapid action (FURA) in their common goal of securing the borders of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands against illegal migrant and drug smuggling.

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