Coast Guard repatriates 161 Cuban migrants

A Coast Guard Station Islamorada and, Customs and Border Protection boat crew interdict a rustic carrying 11 Cuban migrants south of Key Largo Monday, Aug.22, 2016. Once migrants are aboard a Coast Guard cutter, all migrants received food, water, shelter and medical attention. U.S. Coast Guard photo courtesy of Coast Guard Station Islamorada.

A Coast Guard Station Islamorada and, Customs and Border Protection boat crew interdict a rustic carrying 11 Cuban migrants south of Key Largo Monday, Aug.22, 2016.  U.S. Coast Guard photo courtesy of Coast Guard Station Islamorada.

MIAMI – The Coast Guard repatriated 161 Cuban migrants to Bahia de Cabañas, Cuba, since Monday.

The Coast Guard Cutter Isaac Mayo repatriated 66 Cuban migrants, Monday, the Coast Guard Cutter Raymond Evans repatriated 68 Cuban migrants Thursday, and another 27 Cuban migrants Friday.

These repatriations are a result of 14 separate at-sea interdictions in the South Florida Straits. Each instance is an example of the Coast Guard helping secure the U.S. border and preventing these at-sea voyages from ending in tragedy.

“We discourage anyone from taking to the sea and attempting to reach U.S. soil illegally – they are risking their lives with very little chance of success,” said Capt. Mark Gordon, chief of enforcement for the Coast Guard 7th District. “Navigating the Florida Straits can be extremely dangerous for the unprepared on illegal voyages and often leads to injury or death.”

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

Since Oct. 1, at least 6,318 Cubans have attempted to migrate to the U.S. via maritime means compared to 4,473 in the fiscal year 2015. These statistics represent the total number of at-sea interdictions, landings and disruptions in the Florida Straits, Caribbean and Atlantic.

The cutters are 154-foot fast response cutters homeported in Key West.

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