Coast Guard rescues 164 migrants in the span of a week, urges safety at sea

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MIAMI – The Coast Guard rescued 64 Cuban migrants and 100 Haitian migrants during a busy week of illegal maritime migration attempts from Cuba and Haiti into the United States.

The 64 Cuban migrants were repatriated last week following three separate interdictions at sea in the Florida Straits dating back to August 7.

On Monday, the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Paul Clark located a grossly overloaded Haitian sail freighter in Bahamian waters. A deployed Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Operation Bahamas Turks and Caicos launched to assist the Clark in rescuing the distressed migrants.

Crewmembers of the Coast Guard Cutter Paul Clark rescued 100 Haitian migrants from a grossly overloaded sail freighter in Bahamian waters and safely embarked them onto the cutter on August 11, 2014. U.S. Coast Guard Photo

Crewmembers of the Coast Guard Cutter Paul Clark rescued 100 Haitian migrants from a grossly overloaded sail freighter in Bahamian waters and safely embarked them onto the cutter on August 11, 2014. U.S. Coast Guard Photo

Crewmembers from the Paul Clark arrived on scene and safely embarked the 100 Haitian migrants. The migrants were later transferred to Royal Bahamian Defense Force officials.

“Migrant operations are unique in that they are both a law enforcement and a safety of life at sea mission. In this case, the crew of the Paul Clark saved the lives of 100 Haitians attempting a perilous journey that could have had a tragic result,” said Cmdr. Timothy Cronin, deputy chief of enforcement for the Coast Guard 7th District.

Coast Guard assets involved in the cases were:

  • The Coast Guard Cutter Sawfish, a 87-foot patrol boat, homeported in Key West, Florida.
  • Coast Guard Cutter Key Biscayne, a 110-foot patrol boat homeported in Key West.
  • The Coast Guard Cutter Paul Clark, a 154-foot Fast Response Cutter homeported in Miami.
  • Coast Guard Cutter Charles Sexton, a 154-foot Fast Response Cutter homeported in Key West.

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

In the fiscal year 2014, 3,095 Cuban migrants and 4,506 Haitian migrants and have been interdicted in the Coast Guard 7th District’s area of responsibility.

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