Coast Guard repatriates 69 migrants

Southeastern Coast Guard News
MIAMI — Crewmembers aboard the Coast Guard Cutters William Flores and Sitkinak repatriated a total of 69 migrants this week.

Crewmembers aboard the William Flores repatriated 43 Cuban migrants to Bahia de Cabañas, Cuba, Tuesday. Crewmembers aboard the Sitkinak repatriated 26 Haitian migrants to Cap Haitien, Haiti, Thursday.

These repatriations are a result of five separate interdiction cases throughout the Caribbean Sea.

Coast Guard crewmembers worked alongside Customs and Border Protection agents to stop the illegal immigration of Cuban migrants into the United States between July 27 and Aug. 1. During routine patrols, Customs and Border Protection maritime patrol aircraft and Coast Guard assets detected and interdicted rustic vessels headed northbound in the Florida Straits.

The crews aboard the Coast Guard Cutters Kodiak Island, Bernard C. Webber, Richard Etheridge and Knight Island responded to these reports and safely interdicted, embarked and transferred the migrants for repatriation.

“The Coast Guard and our partner agencies continue to diligently patrol the waters around the United States to deter illegal migrant activity,” said Capt. Mark Fedor, chief of response enforcement. “Our main concern is the safety of life at sea. When migrants put their lives in the hands of smugglers, or take to the sea aboard unseaworthy vessels, they put their lives at grave risk.”

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

The Coast Guard Cutters Richard Etheridge, William Flores and Bernard C. Webber are 154-foot Fast Response Cutters, homeported in Miami.

The Coast Guard Cutter Sitkinak is a 110-foot Island Class patrol boat, homeported in Miami, Fla.

The Coast Guard Cutter Kodiak Island is a 110-foot Island Class patrol boat, homeported in Key West, Fla.

The Sentinel Class Fast Response Cutters are designed to conduct maritime drug interdiction, alien migrant interdiction, search and rescue, national defense, homeland security, living marine resources and other Coast Guard missions. This class of patrol boat is capable of deploying independently to execute Coast Guard missions and prevent potential threats from approaching our shores and offers vastly improved capabilities over the aging 110-foot Island class patrol boats it replaces. The Fast Response Cutter is part of the Coast Guard’s layered approach to maritime security that includes the National Security Cutter and the Offshore Patrol Cutter.

– See more at: http://www.uscgnews.com/go/doc/4007/1868710/#sthash.jyCG6f2B.dpuf

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