MIAMI — The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Pea Island repatriated 13 Cuban migrants to Bahia de Cabañas, Cuba, Thursday.
Coast Guard Sector Key West watchstanders received notification from the crew of the fishing vessel Rosa Marie, who rescued 13 Cuban migrants from a sinking 15-foot rustic vessel south of Marquesas, Fla., Nov. 30. The Coast Guard Cutter Ocracoke arrived on scene and embarked the migrants. The migrants were later transferred to the Coast Guard Cutter Pea 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 cutter Pea Island is a 110-foot patrol boat homeported in Key West, Fla.
The cutter Ocracoke is a 110-foot patrol boat homeported in St. Petersburg, Fla.
The Pea Island and other Island-class patrol boats are being replaced by 58 new, Sentinel-class fast response cutters (FRC). The FRC will be capable of speeds in excess of 28 knots and operating in seas up to 18-feet. The speed and stability of the FRC deliver tremendous lifesaving, law enforcement and homeland security capabilities in the same package.
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.