Coast Guard transfers 11 Cuban migrants to the Bahamas

Coast Guard Cutter isaac Mayo file photo

Coast Guard Cutter isaac Mayo file photo

MIAMI – The Coast Guard Cutter Richard Etheridge crew interdicted 11 Cuban migrants Sunday within Bahamas territorial seas, southeast of Cay Sal Island, Bahamas.

The migrants were transferred to the Coast Guard Cutter Isaac Mayo and were then transferred Tuesday to Bahamas Immigration custody in Freeport, Bahamas.

“We discourage anyone taking to the sea and attempting to illegally migrate across the Florida Straits – they are risking their lives with very little chance of success,” said Cmdr. Willie Carmichael, deputy chief of response for the Seventh Coast Guard District. “The Coast Guard and Royal Bahamas Defense Force maintain a strong presence, partnering often in our enforcement efforts and deterrence of illegal, ill advised and unsafe journey across the Florida Straits.”

The Coast Guard routinely partners with the Bahamas to facilitate the interdiction and humanitarian repatriation of illegal and unsafe migrant ventures on the high seas.

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

Approximately 1,990 Cuban migrants have attempted to illegally migrate to the U.S. via the maritime environment since Oct. 1 compared to 7,411 Cubans in fiscal year 2016. The Coast Guard and partner agencies have interdicted 33 Cuban migrants who have attempted to enter the country illegally via maritime means in June. These numbers represent the total number of at-sea interdictions, landings and disruptions in the Florida Straits, the Caribbean and Atlantic.

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