Coast Guard repatriates 54 Cuban migrants

Isaac MayoMIAMI — The Coast Guard Cutter Isaac Mayo repatriated 54 Cuban migrants Tuesday to Bahia de Cabañas, Cuba.

These repatriations are a result of five separate at-sea migrant interdictions in the South Florida Straits. In each instance, the Coast Guard helped secure the U.S. border and prevented these sea voyages from ending in tragedy.

“We discourage anyone from taking to the sea and attempting to reach U.S. soil illegally – they are risking their lives with very little chance of success,” said Capt. Mark Gordon, chief of enforcement for the Coast Guard 7th District. “Navigating the Florida Straits can be extremely dangerous for the unprepared on illegal voyages and often leads to injury or death.”

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

Attempts by Cuban migrants to reach Southeastern U.S. via the sea have increased more than 100% in July from the same time last year.  The total number of Cuban migrants taking to the sea in July 2015 was 410 and 834 in July 2016.

Since Oct. 1, at least 6,017 Cubans attempted to 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 cutters Isaac Mayo is a 154-foot fast response cutters homeported in Key West.

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