Coast Guard repatriates 28 Cuban migrants

A Coast Guard Cutter Kathleen Moore boat crew interdicts a 25-foot rustic vessel with 19 Cuban migrants onboard approximately 20 miles north of Cuba. The Coast Guard Cutter Isaac Mayo crew repatriated 28 Cuban migrants Thursday to Cuba, following two separate interdiction cases conducted by the crew of the cutter Kathleen Moore. (Coast Guard Photo)

A Coast Guard Cutter Kathleen Moore boat crew interdicts a 25-foot rustic vessel with 19 Cuban migrants onboard approximately 20 miles north of Cuba. (Coast Guard Photo)

MIAMI — The Coast Guard Cutter Isaac Mayo crew repatriated 28 Cuban migrants Thursday to Cuba, following two separate interdiction cases.

A Coast Guard Air Station Miami HC-144 Ocean Sentry fixed-wing aircraft crew located a rustic vessel traveling northbound approximately 20 miles north of Cuba, Saturday. The Coast Guard Cutter Kathleen Moore crew arrived on scene and safely embarked 19 Cuban nationals who attempted to enter the United States illegally.

The Kathleen Moore crew interdicted a second illegal entry attempt by stopping a 25-foot rustic vessel with 10 Cuban migrants aboard approximately 58 miles northeast of Matanzas, Cuba on Monday with assistance by a Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater HC-130 Hercules fixed-wing aircraft crew.

One of the 19 individuals interdicted at sea was transferred to local Miami-Dade Police law enforcement due to an open arrest warrant for grand theft auto in Miami-Dade County.

“The Coast Guard and our partners continue to maintain a constant presence in the Florida Straits with both air and surface assets,” said Capt. Mark Vlaun, staff judge advocate of Coast Guard 7th District. “Today’s safe and swift repatriation is reflective of our interagency commitment to stop illegal and unsafe entry by sea into the United States before these voyages end in tragedy on the open ocean.”

Once aboard Coast Guard cutters, all migrants receive food, water, shelter and medical attention.

“We cannot stress enough that these illegal migration attempts are dangerous, futile, and often times fueled by rumor or coaxed by criminals who will lie to or exploit migrants,” said Capt. Willie Carmichael, Deputy Chief of Enforcement of Coast Guard 7th District.

Approximately 144 Cuban migrants have attempted to illegally enter the U.S. via the maritime environment since Oct. 1 in fiscal year 2018 compared to 1,951 Cuban migrants in fiscal year 2017. These numbers represent the total number of at-sea interdictions, landings and disruptions in the Florida Straits, the Caribbean and Atlantic.

The cutter Kathleen Moore is a 154-foot Sentinel class cutter homeported in Key West, Florida. The cutter Isaac Mayo is a 154-foot Sentinel class cutter homeported in Key West, Florida.

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