Coast Guard Repatriates 12 Cubans

MIAMI – The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Key Biscayne repatriated 12 Cuban migrants to Bahia de Cabanas, Cuba, Saturday.

The Coast Guard District Seven Command Center was notified by the captain of the 932-foot motor vessel, Nordic Moon, reporting they were on scene with 14 people who were clinging to the hull of a capsized vessel about 50 miles south of Key West, Fla., Wednesday morning.

The Coast Guard immediately launched an HH-65 Dolphin helicopter and diverted the Key Biscayne and the cutter Valiant to assist. The crew of the Nordic Moon launched their rescue boat during the Coast Guard’s response and rescued 14 people from the twin-engine, 25-foot catamaran named the Open Wyd.

The crew of the Key Biscayne arrived on scene about an hour later and transferred 12 males and two females to the cutter. Two suspected smugglers were identified and later transferred to U.S. Border Patrol officials.

The 12 Cuban migrants stated they left Cuba Sunday evening and claimed their vessel capsized Monday morning and 30 minutes later the catamaran arrived on scene and rescued them. The Open Wyd, with the migrants aboard capsized Tuesday morning. The migrants and smugglers clung to the overturned hulled until being rescued by the Nordic Moon crew. According to the migrants, all 12 who left together were accounted for.

The Key Biscayne is a 110-foot patrol boat homeported in St. Petersburg, Fla.
The Valiant is a 210-foot medium-endurance cutter homeported in Miami Beach, Fla.

If you have any problems viewing this article, please report it here.