Coast Guard Interdicts, Repatriates 42 Cubans

MIAMI – The Coast Guard Cutter Drummond repatriated 42 Cuban migrants to Bahia de CabaƱas, Cuba, Wednesday.

District Seven search-and-rescue coordinators in Miami received a report from a man stating he had family members with no water aboard a disabled vessel approximately 75 miles south of Andros Island, Bahamas, Sunday. An HC-130 Hercules aircraft from Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater, Fla., was diverted to locate the disabled vessel. Once located by the aircrew, an HH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Air Station Clearwater, deployed to the Atlantic Undersea Test and Evaluation Center (AUTEC), was launched and able to drop drinking water to the distressed people until a rescue crew arrived. Once on scene, the crew of the Farallon discovered 18 Cuban migrants and one suspected smuggler aboard. The Cuban migrants were embarked onto the Farallon and the suspected smuggler was transferred to Customs and Border Protection agents in Miami.

The crew of the cutter Kodiak Island interdicted a rustic vessel with 12 Cuban migrants aboard 58 miles south of Key West, Fla., Saturday.

A good Samaritan reported to Coast Guard officials they encountered a rustic vessel with five Cuban migrants aboard 17 miles south of Big Pine Key, Fla., Friday. The good Samaritan remained on scene until the the crew of the cutter Chandeleur arrived and embarked the migrants.

Officials at Coast Guard Sector Key West received notification that a good Samaritan had located a rustic vessel with four Cuban migrants aboard 24 miles south of Key West, Friday. A Station Key West boatcrew and the cutter Kodiak Island were diverted, and upon arriving on scene, the boatcrew safely embarked the Cuban migrants.

Another good Samaritan notified Sector Key West officials stating they located a rustic vessel with three Cuban migrants aboard approximately 23 miles south of Big Pine Key, Friday. A boatcrew from Station Key West along with the cutter Key Biscayne were dispatched to interdict the vessel. Once on scene, the Station Key West boatcrew embarked the Cuban migrants and transferred them to the cutter Key Biscayne.

“These people are very fortunate that they were located by good Samaritans who remained on scene with them until the Coast Guard could arrive.” said Lt. Tom Gorgol, a Seventh District law-enforcement duty officer.

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

The cutters Key Biscayne and Kodiak Island are 110-foot patrol boats homeported in St. Petersburg, Fla.
The cutters Farallon and Chandeleur are 110-foot patrol boats homeported in Miami.
The cutter Drummond is a 110-foot patrol boat homeported in Key West, Fla.

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