Cruise Ship Picks Up Cuban Migrants

FLORIDA STRAIGHTS – Coast Guard Cutter Confidence rendezvoused with the Celebrity Cruise Ship Century for a transfer of 12 Cuban migrants to Confidence March 23.

Despite a challenging sea-state, Confidence lowered its rigid-hull inflatable small boat and made two trips to the awaiting Century to safely transfer the migrants to the decks of Confidence. The 12 were given food, water, blankets, and medical attention. Ten of the Cubans were repatriated to Cuba Saturday, and two were taken to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, for further disposition.

Century, a Bahamian cruise ship, contacted the Coast Guard when the crew came across the migrants in a rustic vessel taking on water 30-nautical miles South of San Antonio, Cuba. The Century had recently made a port call in the Cayman Islands and was en route to Miami. The migrants were transported aboard the Century four days before rendezvousing with cutter Confidence.

“The journey these migrants undertook is extremely hazardous, and they are very fortunate that the Century was available to pick them up. They are lucky to be alive,” said Commander Cameron Naron, commanding officer of Confidence.

Confidence is a 210-foot medium endurance Coast Guard cutter homeported in Port Canaveral, Fla. Confidence and her crew of 80 are currently on patrol and scheduled to return to home port in April.

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