Coast Guard repatriates 63 Cuban migrants

Coast Guard Cutter Paul clarkMIAMI — The Coast Guard repatriated 63 Cuban migrants to Bahia de Cabañas, Cuba, since Dec. 2.

The Coast Guard Cutter Paul Clark crew repatriated six Cuban migrants Monday and another 57 Cuban migrants Friday.

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.

Since Oct. 1, at least 949 Cubans attempted to migrate to the U.S. via the maritime environment compared to 7,411 in fiscal year 2016. These statistics represent the total number of at-sea interdictions, landings and disruptions in the Florida Straits, the Caribbean and Atlantic.

The cutter Paul Clark is a 154-foot fast response cutter homeported in Miami.

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