Coast Guard repatriates 32 Cuban migrants

CGC Bernard C. Webber ArrivalMIAMI — Crewmembers aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Bernard C. Webber repatriated 32 Cuban migrants to Bahia de Cabañas, Cuba, Wednesday.

This repatriation is a result of four separate migrant interdictions at sea.

On June 6, Coast Guard Sector Key West received a report from a good Samaritan of a 15-foot migrant vessel northeast of Key Largo, Florida. The Coast Guard Cutter Richard Etheridge crew arrived on scene and embarked eight Cuban migrants.

The next day, Customs and Border Protection aircraft alerted the Coast Guard about a migrant vessel southeast of Key West, Florida. The Coast Guard Cutter Isaac Mayo arrived on scene and embarked 10 Cuban migrants.

On June 8, a Customs and Border Protection aircraft crew reported a rustic vessel south of Key West, Florida. Coast Guard Cutter William Flores arrived on scene and embarked nine Cuban migrants.

Two days later, a good Samaritan reported a migrant vessel southwest of Key West, Florida. The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Tampa arrived on scene and embarked five male Cuban migrants.

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

“The U.S. Coast Guard, along with Customs and Border Protection and our DHS partners, continue to maintain a robust patrol presence throughout the Florida Straits to prevent migrants from taking the perilous and illegal maritime journey to the United States,” said Capt. Mark Fedor, Coast Guard 7th District Chief of Enforcement. “Our main concern is always for the safety of these migrants who are putting their lives at extreme risk in unseaworthy vessels and to protect our nation’s borders by deterring dangerous and illegal activity. Once aboard a Coast Guard cutter, we will seek to quickly repatriate illegal migrants to their countries of origin,”

The Coast Guard Cutters Richard Etheridge, William Flores, Margaret Norvell and Bernard C. Webber are154-foot fast response cutters, homeported in Miami.

The Coast Guard Cutter Isaac Mayo is a 154-foot fast response cutter, homeported in Key West, Florida.

The Coast Guard Cutter Tampa is a 270-foot medium endurance cutter, homeported in Portsmouth, Virginia.

Since Oct. 1, the Coast Guard 7th District estimates that 2,712 Cubans have attempted to illegally migrate via the sea. These numbers represent the total amount of at-sea interdictions, landings and disruptions in the Florida Straits, the Caribbean and Atlantic.

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