Coast Guard Intercepts,Repatriates 22 Cubans

MIAMI – The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Edisto repatriated 22 Cuban migrants to Bahia de Cabanas, Cuba, Wednesday.

The repatriated migrants were interdicted when the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Key Biscayne located and proceeded to intercept a go-fast vessel 38 miles south of Marquesas, Fla., traveling at a high-rate of speed toward Florida, Friday. A 33-foot special purpose craft from Coast Guard Station Key West, Fla., and a deployed Air Station Miami HH-65 helicopter aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Dependable were also launched to intercept the go-fast. The SPC boatcrew used warning shots during the pursuit when the vessel refused to halt as ordered. The vessel continued to fail to heave-to and a qualified Coast Guard boarding team member fired several rounds of disabling fire into one of the go-fasts engines at which point the operator stopped the vessel two miles south of Marquesas.

The crew of the SPC and the Key Biscayne small boat embarked 22 Cuban migrants and two suspected smugglers. The Cuban migrants were later transferred to the Dependable and the two suspected smugglers were brought in to Key West and arrested by Monroe County Sheriff deputies.

Once aboard Coast Guard cutters, all migrants receive food, water and any necessary medical attention.

The Dependable is a 210-foot medium-endurance cutter homeported in Portsmouth, Va.
The Key Biscayne is a 110-foot patrol boat homeported in St. Petersburg, Fla.
The Edisto is a 110-foot patrol boat homeported in San Diego, Calif.

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