MIAMI – The Coast Guard Cutter Charles David Jr. repatriated 34 Cuban migrants to Bahia de Cabañas, Cuba, Wednesday.
These repatriations are a result of two separate migrant interdictions at sea within the last week in the south Florida Straits. In each instance, the Coast Guard helped secure the U.S. border and prevented these perilous sea voyages from ending in tragedy.
“We have seen an increase over the last year in the number of Cuban migrants trying to enter the United States via maritime means,” said Cmdr. Timothy Cronin, deputy chief of enforcement for the Coast Guard 7th District. “The Coast Guard and U.S. Customs and Border Protection continue to vigilantly patrol the Florida Straits and Caribbean to rescue migrants from potentially deadly voyages and enforce U.S. immigration policy.”
Once aboard a Coast Guard cutter, all migrants receive food, water, shelter and basic medical attention.
Since Oct. 1, at least 4,324 Cubans have attempted to illegally migrate to the U.S. via the maritime environment compared to 4,473 in fiscal year 2015. These statistics represent the total number of at-sea interdictions, landings and disruptions in the Florida Straits, the Caribbean and Atlantic.
The Coast Guard Cutter Charles David Jr. is a 154-foot fast response cutter homeported out of Key West, Florida.