Coast Guard repatriates 16 Cuban migrants

MIAMI — The crew aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Pea Island repatriated 8 Cuban migrants Monday and the crew aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Ocracoke repatriated 8 Cuban migrants Thursday all to Bahia de Cabañas, Cuba.

The 16 Cuban migrants were interdicted at sea during two separate cases last week.

“Migrants attempting to illegally enter the United States by boat often travel aboard dangerously overloaded and ill-equipped vessels like earlier this week when we responded to a tragic case where multiple migrants lost their lives at sea,” said Capt. Brendan McPherson, 7th Coast Guard District chief of enforcement. “Illegal migrants aboard these vessels are putting their lives at extreme risk of injury and death. 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 are provided with food, water, shelter and basic medical attention.

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.

The Pea Island, Ocracoke and other Island-class patrol boats are being replaced by 58 new, Sentinel-class fast response cutters. The FRC will be capable of speeds in excess of 28 knots and operating in seas up to 18-feet. Armed with a 25-mm chain gun and four .50 caliber machine guns, the Fast Response Cutter provides lethal homeland security firepower. The speed, stability and firepower of the FRC deliver tremendous lifesaving, law enforcement and homeland security capabilities in the same package.

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