Coast Guard repatriates 32 Cuban migrants

Southeastern Coast Guard NewsMIAMI — The Coast Guard Cutter Pea Island repatriated 32 Cuban migrants to Bahia de Cabañas, Cuba, Thursday.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Key West, Fla., received notification of a 15-foot rustic vessel with 12 Cuban migrants aboard southwest of Key West Oct. 18 from the cruise ship Disney Magic. The Coast Guard Cutter Decisive arrived on scene and embarked 12 Cuban migrants. The 12 migrants were later transferred to the Coast Guard Cutter Mohawk and then to the cutter Pea Island for repatriation.

While on routine patrol, a Coast Guard Air Station Miami HC-144A Ocean Sentry aircrew located a rustic vessel south of Marathon, Fla., Oct. 20. Coast Guard Station Key West launched a smallboat crew and intercepted the vessel with 20 Cuban migrants aboard. The Coast Guard Cutter Kodiak Island arrived on scene and safely embarked all 20 migrants. The 20 Cuban migrants were later transferred to the cutter Mohawk and then to the cutter Pea Island for repatriation.

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

“Migrants attempting to illegally enter the United States by boat often travel aboard dangerously overloaded and ill-equipped vessels,” said, Capt. Brendan McPherson, 7th Coast Guard District chief of enforcement. “People aboard these vessels are putting their lives at extreme risk, so the Coast Guard and our partner agencies will continue to patrol vigilantly to rescue and repatriate undocumented migrants who take to the sea.”

Patrol boats like the Pea Island and Kodiak Island are the workhorses of America’s littoral maritime fleet. Possessing superior speed and flexibility, Coast Guard patrol boats deliver the Coast Guard’s unique blend of military capability, law enforcement authority and lifesaving expertise wherever needed along the coast.

The cutter Mohawk and Decisive and the other medium endurance cutters are slated for replacement by an Offshore Patrol Cutter. The new OPCs will operate more than 50 miles from land, carrying out the Coast Guard’s maritime security and safety activities in support of national interests. The OPC will be an economical, multi-mission ship, providing pursuit boat and helicopter capabilities and interoperability with other military and federal partners, superior to the cutters they replace. Equipped with modern sensors, the Offshore Patrol Cutter will provide the enhanced surveillance necessary to detect threats far from U.S. shores and meet the demands of the Coast Guard’s homeland security, search and rescue, law enforcement and other vital missions.

The cutter Pea Island is a 110-foot patrol boat homeported in Key West.

The cutter Kodiak Island is a 110-foot patrol boat homeported in Key West.

The cutter Mohawk is a 270-foot medium-endurance cutter homeported in Key West.

The cutter Decisive is a 210-foot medium endurance cutter homeported in Pascagoula, Miss.

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.

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