Coast Guard repatriates 136 Cuban migrants

The Coast Guard Cutter Charles David Jr.MIAMI — The Coast Guard repatriated 136 Cuban migrants to Bahia de Cabañas, Cuba, since Saturday.

The Coast Guard Cutter Charles David Jr. crew repatriated 53 Cuban migrants Saturday and 83 Cuban migrants Monday.

These repatriations are a result of eight separate at-sea migrant interdictions in the South Florida Straits. In each instance, the Coast Guard helped secure the U.S. border and prevented these sea voyages from ending in tragedy.

“It is not uncommon to see a surge in Cuban migrant flow during the winter months when there are no major storms,” said Capt. Mark Gordon, chief of enforcement for the Coast Guard 7th District.  “We continue to strongly discourage attempts to illegally enter the country by taking to the sea. These trips are extremely dangerous. Coast Guard missions and operations in the Southeast remain unchanged and the Coast Guard and our partner agencies remain ready to stop those who take the illegal, ill advised and unsafe journey across the Florida Straits.”

Since Dec. 1, at least 541 Cubans have attempted to migrate to the U.S. via the maritime environment compared to 619 Cubans in December, 2015. These statistics represent the total number of at-sea interdictions, landings and disruptions in the Florida Straits, the Caribbean and Atlantic.

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

The Coast Guard Cutter Charles David Jr. is a 154-foot fast response cutter homeported in Key West.

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