Coast Guard Interdicts, Repatriates 41 Cuban Migrants

MIAMI – The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Kodiak Island repatriated 41 Cuban migrants who were interdicted at sea in five separate events to Bahia de Cabañas, Cuba, Thursday.

An Air Station Miami HH-65 Dolphin helicopter deployed to Boca Chica, Fla., located a loaded go-fast west of Marquesas, Fla., Sunday. A Special Purpose Craft-Law Enforcement vessel from Coast Guard Station Key West, Fla., was launched to interdict the go-fast. The go-fast immediately altered course and started heading northwest towards the Gulf of Mexico. The SPC-LE boatcrew stopped the vessel and embarked nine Cuban migrants and two suspected smugglers and then transferred them to the Cutter Confidence. The two suspected smugglers were transferred to CBP officials in Key West Monday.

The Cutter Valiant located 10 Cuban migrants on Cosgrove Shoal Light, located four miles south of Marquesas, Sunday. The Cutter Valiant embarked four of the Cuban migrants and an SPC-LE crew from Station Key West embarked the remaining six, subsequently transferring them to Valiant.

The Cutter Sawfish located a disabled go-fast vessel with 16 Cuban migrants and two suspected smugglers 21 miles south of Marquesas, Friday. The Sawfish embarked the Cuban migrants and later transferred them to the Coast Guard Cutter Valiant. The go-fast and suspected smugglers were turned over to Customs and Border Protection agents in Key West.

The Coast Guard Cutters Confidence and Pea Island were involved in a pursuit of two go-fast vessels Oct. 4, 90 miles northeast of Cozumel, Mexico. The Confidence launched their smallboat, and after a two-hour pursuit, compelled the go-fast operator to stop 45 miles northeast of Cozumel. Aboard the vessel, which had been reported stolen by Collier County Sheriffs Office, were two suspected smugglers and one Cuban migrant. The migrant was brought aboard the Confidence and the vessel along with the suspects were later transferred to Collier County Sheriff’s Deputies. The second go-fast was stopped and all persons aboard taken into custody by the Mexican navy 20 miles northeast of Cozumel.

Coast Guard Sector Key West officials were notified that a Good Samaritan had embarked seven Cuban migrants from a rustic vessel 15 miles east of Islamorada, Fla., Oct. 3. The Coast Guard Cutter Sawfish was diverted, and once on scene with the Good Samaritan vessel, embarked all seven migrants. The following day one migrant was medically evacuated due to an infection and was transferred to Lower Keys Memorial Hospital in Key West.

Final Disposition is still pending on one Cuban migrant.

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

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

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

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

The cutter Pea Island is a 110-foot patrol boat homeported in St. Petersburg.

The cutter Sawfish is an 87-foot patrol boat homeported in Key West.

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