Coast Guard Repatriates 23 Cubans

MIAMI – The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Cobia repatriated 26 Cuban migrants to Bahia de Cubañas, Cuba, Thursday. The migrants were interdicted during two separate events during the past seven days.

The Coast Guard received a call from the captain of the Royal Caribbean cruise ship, Navigator of the Seas, Saturday, stating they had located a rustic vessel 80 miles south of Key West, Fla. A Customs and Border Protection aircraft, conducting a law enforcement patrol, was able to locate the rustic vessel and remained on scene until the Cutter Valiant could arrive. The crew of the Cutter Valiant arrived on scene and embarked the 23 Cuban migrants.

Three of the migrants are pending further transfer to Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The Coast Guard Sector Key West Command Center received a call from a good Samaritan stating they spotted a rustic vessel with three Cuban migrants aboard five miles northwest of Key West, Jan. 17. The crew of the Cutter Farallon arrived on scene and embarked all three migrants.

“Unfortunately we are continuing to see people needlessly endangering their lives while attempting to illegally enter the United States from the sea,” said Sean Connett, a command duty officer at the District Seven Command Center. “People need to understand there is a safe and legal means of entering the United States. Taking to the seas in an unsafe vessel is not one of them.”

Once aboard Coast Guard cutters, all migrants are provided food, water, shelter and necessary medical attention.

The Valiant is a 210-foot medium endurance cutter homeported in Miami.

The Farallon is a 110-foot patrol boat homeported in Miami.

The Kodiak Island is a 110-foot patrol boat homeported in St. Petersburg, Fla.

The Cobia is an 87-foot coastal patrol boat homeported in Mobile, Ala.

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