Coast Guard repatriates 20 Cuban migrants

Southeastern Coast Guard NewsMIAMI — The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Nantucket repatriated 20 Cuban migrants to Bahia de Cabañas, Cuba, Friday.

Coast Guard Sector Key West, Fla., watchstanders received notification of a 35-foot center console vessel with 20 Cuban migrants aboard, west of Cay Sal, Bahamas on Sept. 2. The Coast Guard Cutter Oak was diverted, and the crew safely embarked the 20 migrants aboard the cutter. The migrants were later transferred to the cutter Nantucket for repatriation.

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

“U.S. Coast Guard policy is to deter and respond to dangerous, and illegal maritime migration by intercepting vessels pursuing perilous and illegal voyages,” said, Capt. Brendan McPherson, 7th Coast Guard District chief of enforcement.”We continue to maintain a robust presence of cutters and aircraft throughout the Caribbean to prevent illegal migration and migrant smuggling activities.”

The cutter Nantucket is a 110-foot patrol boat homeported in St. Petersburg, Fla.

The Oak is a 225-foot seagoing buoy tender homeported in Charleston, S.C.

The Nantucket 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. The FRC delivers tremendous lifesaving, law enforcement and homeland security capabilities in the same package.

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