Coast Guard interdicts 5 Cuban migrants 55 miles southwest of Marathon

A rustic vessel approximately 55 miles southwest of Marathon, Wednesday, July 19, 2019. A Coast Guard Station Islamorada 45-foot Response Boat—Medium crew safely embarked the five Cuban adult males, destroyed the vessel as a hazard to navigation and transferred the migrants to Coast Guard Cutter Kathleen Moore crew for repatriation. (Coast Guard Photo)

A rustic vessel approximately 55 miles southwest of Marathon. A Coast Guard Station Islamorada 45-foot Response Boat—Medium crew safely embarked the five Cuban adult males, destroyed the vessel as a hazard to navigation. (Coast Guard Photo)

KEY WEST, Fla. — The Coast Guard interdicted five Cuban migrants Friday approximately 55 miles southwest of Marathon.

A Coast Guard Air Station Miami HC-144 Ocean Sentry airplane crew located a rustic vessel with five people aboard 55 miles southwest of Marathon and Coast Guard Sector Key West watchstanders launched a Coast Guard Station Islamorada 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew and an Air Station Miami MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew.

The Station Islamorada crew safely embarked the five Cuban adult males and destroyed the vessel as a hazard to navigation. The migrants were transferred to the Coast Guard Cutter Kathleen Moore (WPC-1109) crew and repatriated to Cabanas, Cuba.

“Those who are interdicted at sea attempting to illegally immigrate will be repatriated to their country in accordance with existing U.S. immigration policy,” said Chief Warrant Officer Scott Goss, commanding officer of Station Islamorada. “Migrant interdiction operations save lives. The sea conditions can change in an instant and can be unforgiving to the ill-equipped craft that are often used for these voyages.”

Approximately 384 Cuban migrants have attempted to illegally enter the U.S. via the maritime environment in fiscal year 2019 compared to 406 Cuban migrants in fiscal year 2018. These numbers represent the total number of at-sea interdictions, landings and disruptions in the Florida Straits, the Caribbean, and Atlantic.

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

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