Coast Guard Cutter Maria Bray repatriates 15 Cuban migrants

Southeastern Coast Guard NewsMIAMI — The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Maria Bray repatriated 15 Cuban migrants, from two separate vessels, to Bahia de Cabañas, Cuba, Friday.

Watchstanders at the Seventh Coast Guard District received notification of a rustic vessel with six Cuban migrants aboard, south of Marquesas, Fla., and nine migrants aboard a rustic vessel south of Key West, Fla. Sept. 17. The Coast Guard Cutter Kodiak Island crew safely embarked the six migrants and the Coast Guard Cutter Sawfish crew safely embarked the nine migrants. The 15 migrants were all later transferred to the Cutter Maria Bray for repatriation.

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

“U.S. Coast Guard policy is to deter and respond to dangerous, and illegal maritime migration by intercepting vessels pursuing perilous and illegal voyages,” said Capt. Brendan McPherson, Seventh Coast Guard District chief of enforcement.”We continue to maintain a robust presence of cutters and aircraft throughout the Caribbean to prevent illegal migration and migrant smuggling activities.”

The cutter Sawfish is an 87-foot patrol boat homeported in Key West.

The cutter Kodiak Island is a 110-foot patrol boat homeported in Key West.

The cutter Maria Bray is a 175-foot buoy tender homeported in Mayport, Fla.,

The Sawfish, Kodiak Island and other Island-class patrol boats are being replaced by 58 new, Sentinel-class fast response cutters. The FRC will be capable of speeds in excess of 28 knots and operating in seas up to 18-feet. The FRC delivers tremendous lifesaving, law enforcement and homeland security capabilities in the same package.

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