Coast Guard repatriates 32 Cuban migrants

Southeastern Coast Guard News
MIAMI – The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Bernard C. Webber repatriated 32 Cuban migrants to Bahia de Cabañas, Cuba, Thursday, who were interdicted in three different cases since April 12.

The first interdiction occurred after Coast Guard Sector Key West watchstanders received notification from the Carnival Cruise Ship Conquest stating they were on scene with a raft with 13 Cuban migrants aboard near Key West April 12. The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Confidence arrived on scene and embarked the migrants. The migrants were later transferred to the Bernard C. Webber for repatriation.

The second interdiction occurred after Coast Guard Sector Key West watchstanders were informed of a rustic vessel with 17 migrants aboard headed towards Key West April 12. Watchstanders launched a Coast Guard Station Marathon smallboat crew who arrived on scene, safely embarked the migrants and transferred them to the Coast Guard Cutter Sawfish. The migrants were later transferred to the Bernard C. Webber for repatriation.

The third interdiction occurred after the Coast Guard Cutter William Flores during a regular patrol, located an 18-foot raft near Key Biscayne, Fla., with seven migrants aboard Tuesday. The William Flores embarked the migrants and later transferred them to the Bernard C. Webber for repatriation.

“The United States Coast Guard’s day-to-day, critical missions including migrant interdiction operations remain steadfast,” said Capt. Brendan McPherson, 7th Coast Guard District chief of enforcement. “We continue to patrol vigilantly to rescue and repatriate undocumented migrants who take to the sea, and together with our partner agencies, will vigorously investigate and prosecute migrant smuggling and associated crimes. There is a controlled, safe, and legal means of migration to the United States.  Failing to follow this process is illegal and needlessly endangers the lives of migrants and those sworn to protect our borders.”

Five of the 37, migrants were transferred to Customs and Border Protection.

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

The Coast Guard Cutter Bernard C. Webber is a 154-foot fast response cutter, homeported in Miami, Fla.

The Coast Guard Cutter Sawfish is a 87-foot patrol boat, homeported in Key West, Fla.

The Coast Guard Cutter Confidence is a 210-foot medium endurance cutter, homeported in Port Canaveral, Fla.

The Coast Guard Cutter William Flores is a 154-foot fast response cutter, homeported in Miami, Fla.

The cutter Bernard C. Webber is one of the 58 New, Sentinel-class fast response cutters replacing the Island-class patrol boats. The FRC will be capable of speeds in excess of 28 knots and operating in seas up to 18-feet. Armed with a 25-mm chain gun and four .50 caliber machine guns, the Fast Response Cutter provides lethal homeland security firepower. The speed, stability and firepower of the FRC deliver tremendous lifesaving, law enforcement and homeland security capabilities in the same package.

For more information on how to legally immigrate to the U.S., call U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) at 1-800-375-5283 or visit the USCIS website atwww.uscis.gov.

 

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