Coast Guard repatriates 10 Cuban migrants

Southeastern Coast Guard News
MIAMI – The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Knight Island repatriated 10 Cuban migrants to Bahia de Cabañas, Cuba, Wednesday.

This repatriation is a result of two separate law enforcement cases.

Coast Guard Sector Key West, Fla., received a report of a rustic vessel in the Caribbean Sea, April 18.

The Coast Guard Cutter Richard Etheridge was diverted from its original mission to respond to the report. The Cutter Richard Etheridge arrived on scene and safely embarked four Cuban migrants.

Later, the migrants were transferred to the Coast Guard Cutter Pea Island and then to the cutter Knight Island for repatriation.

A day later, Sector Key West received a report from a good Samaritan aboard a motor vessel, Tug Resolve, of a migrant raft southwest of Marathon, Fla. After the Tug Resolve lost visual contact with the migrant raft, a crew aboard a Coast Guard Air Station Miami MH-65 helicopter and a HC-144 Ocean Sentry were launched to search.

During the search, a good Samaritan detected and reported the location of the rustic vessel to the Coast Guard. A boatcrew from Coast Guard Station Marathon arrived on scene and safely embarked six Cuban migrants.

Later, the migrants were transferred to the Cutter Knight Island for repatriation.

“Migrants attempting to illegally enter the United States by boat often travel aboard dangerously overloaded and ill-equipped vessels,” said, Capt. Brendan McPherson, 7th Coast Guard District chief of enforcement. “People aboard these vessels are putting their lives at extreme risk, so the Coast Guard with our partner agencies will continue to patrol vigilantly to rescue and repatriate undocumented migrants who take to the sea.”

Once aboard a Coast Guard cutter, all migrants receive food, water, shelter and basic medical attention.

The Coast Guard Cutter Richard Etheridge is a 154-foot patrol boat, homeported in Miami Beach, Fla.

The Coast Guard Cutter Knight Island is a 110-foot patrol boat, homeported in Key West.

The Coast Guard Cutter Pea Island is a 110-foot patrol boat, homeported in Key West.

The Knight Island, Pea Island and other Island-class patrol boats are being replaced by 58 new, Sentinel-class fast response cutters. The FRC is capable of speeds in excess of 28 knots and operating in seas up to 18-feet. The speed and stability of the FRC delivers tremendous lifesaving, law enforcement and homeland security capabilities in the same package.

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