Coast Guard repatriates 8 Cuban migrants

MIAMI — The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Ocracoke repatriated eight Cuban migrants to Bahia de Cabañas, Cuba, Wednesday.

A C-130 Hercules fixed wing aircraft from Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater, Fla., located a distressed 42- foot fishing vessel about 15 miles west of Orange Cay, Bahamas Dec. 24. The vessel made radio contact with the crew of the C-130 reporting they were taking on water with 11 people onboard and no life jackets.

The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Knight Island arrived on scene to provide assistance to the vessel. After an assessment of the vessel it was determined the passengers included eight migrants and three suspected smugglers.

The vessel sank shortly after the Knight Island crew rescued the nine adults and two children.

The three suspected smugglers were later transfered to U.S. Border Patrol Officers.

Once aboard Coast Guard cutters, all migrants are provided with food, water, shelter and necessary medical attention.

The Ocracoke is a 110-foot patrol boat homeported in Miami.

The Knight Island is a 110-foot patrol boat homeported in St. Petersburg, Fla.

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