Coast Guard interdicts, repatriates 17 Cuban migrants

US Coast Guard Cutter Ocracoke

Cutter Ocracoke - USCG File Photo

MIAMI — The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Ocracoke repatriated 17 Cuban migrants to Bahia de Cabañas, Cuba, Saturday, after they were interdicted at sea during two separate cases.

While on routine patrol, the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Tahoma located a rustic vessel 12 miles north of Punta Maisi, Cuba, Dec. 4, 2010. The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Sitkinak provided the migrants life jackets prior to safely embarking them on the cutter.

The 12 migrants were later transferred to the Coast Guard Cutter Kodiak Island and then to the Ocracoke for repatriation.

The Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship Monarch of the Seas located a rustic vessel 18 miles west of Freeport, Bahamas, Sunday, with six persons onboard. The Monarch of the Seas crew contacted the Coast Guard and safely embarked the migrants on the cruise ship.

A Response Boat-Medium crew from Coast Guard Station Cape Canaveral, Fla., rendezvoused with the cruise ship Monday and safely transferred the six migrants to the RB-M and then to the Coast Guard Cutter Shrike. All six migrants were later transferred to the Ocracoke.

One of the migrants will be transferred to Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, for further processing.

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

The Tahoma is a 270-foot medium endurance cutter homeported in Portsmouth, N.H.

The Ocracoke is a 110-foot patrol boat homeported in St. Petersburg, Fla.

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

The cutter Knight Island is a 110-foot patrol boat homeported in Key West, Fla.

The cutter Shrike is an 87-foot patrol boat homeported in Port Canaveral, Fla.

For more information on how to legally immigrate to the United States, call U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) at 1-800-375-5283 or visit the USCIS website at www.uscis.gov.

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