Coast Guard repatriates 119 Cubans to Cuba

A good Samaritan rescued and reported to Sector Key West watchstanders of a vessel, Jan. 1, 2021, approximately 25 miles west of Boot Key. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

A good Samaritan rescued and reported to Sector Key West watchstanders of a vessel, Jan. 1, 2021, approximately 25 miles west of Boot Key. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

MIAMI — Coast Guard Cutters Margaret Norvell and Raymond Evans crews repatriated 119 people to Bahia de Cabañas, Cuba, Monday, due to safety of life at sea concerns.

These repatriations are a result of 12 separate migrant interdictions at sea in the south Florida Straits. In each instance, the Coast Guard helped secure the U.S. border and prevented these perilous sea voyages from ending in tragedy.

A Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations flight crew reported to Coast Guard Sector Key West watchstanders at about 11:30 a.m., Thursday, of a vessel approximately 20 miles west of Cay Sal, Bahamas.

A CBP AMO boat crew reported to Sector Key West watchstanders at about noon, Thursday, of a vessel approximately 5 miles southeast of Marquesas.

A Coast Guard Station Marathon boat crew reported to Sector Key West watchstanders at about 2:45 p.m., Thursday, of a vessel approximately 35 miles south of Cudjoe Key.

A CBP AMO boat crew reported to Sector Key West watchstanders at about 5:30 p.m., Thursday, of a vessel approximately 25 miles east of Biscayne Bay.

A good Samaritan reported to Sector Key West watchstanders at about 8:45 a.m., Friday, of a vessel approximately 2 miles southwest of Key West.

A good Samaritan reported to Sector Key West watchstanders at about 12:30 p.m., Friday, of a vessel approximately 20 miles south of Long Key.

A good Samaritan notified Sector Key West watchstanders of people in the water at about 1:30 p.m., Friday, after their raft capsized approximately 38 miles southeast of Alligator Reef. A Coast Guard Station Islamorada boat crew arrived on scene and transferred the people from the good Samaritan vessel.

A good Samaritan reported to Sector Key West watchstanders at about 9 a.m., Saturday, of a vessel approximately 25 miles west of Boot Key.

A Coast Guard Air Station Miami HC-144 flight crew reported to Sector Key West watchstanders at about 11 a.m., Saturday, of a vessel approximately 20 miles south of Boca Chica.

“Navigating the seas in a less than seaworthy vessel is dangerous and could result in loss of life,” said Capt. Adam Chamie, Commander of Sector Key West. “Coast Guard crews and our local and federal law enforcement partners maintain an active presence with air and sea assets every day through the Florida Straits to help save lives by removing people from unsafe environments and deterring dangerous migrant voyages. We urge people not to take to the sea in unseaworthy vessels.”

So far in fiscal year 2022, 586 Cuban migrants have attempted to illegally migrate to the U.S. via the sea compared to:

  • 5,396 Cuban Migrants in Fiscal Year 2016
  • 1,468 Cuban Migrants in Fiscal Year 2017
  • 259 Cuban Migrants in Fiscal Year 2018
  • 313 Cuban Migrants in Fiscal Year 2019
  • 49 Cuban Migrants in Fiscal Year 2020
  • 838 Cuban Migrants in Fiscal Year 2021

Once aboard a Coast Guard cutter, all migrants receive food, water, shelter and basic medical attention. Throughout the interdictions, Coast Guard crew members were equipped with personal protective equipment to minimize potential exposure to any possible case of COVID-19.

Family members in the United States inquiring about possible family members interdicted at sea, please contact your local U.S. representative. Relatives located outside the United States please contact your local U.S. Embassy.

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