Coast Guard repatriates 12 migrants to Cuba

A 21-foot blue chug vessel floating approximately 8 miles east of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Jan. 11, 2021. Coast Guard Cutter Isaac Mayo's crew repatriated 12 Cuban migrants aboard the chug vessel to Cabanas, Cuba. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

A 21-foot blue chug vessel floating approximately 8 miles east of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Jan. 11, 2021.  (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

MIAMI — Coast Guard crews repatriated 12 adult males to Cabanas, Cuba, Monday, after stopping a voyage approximately 8 miles east of Fort Lauderdale.

Coast Guard Station Fort Lauderdale 33-foot Special Purpose Craft-Law Enforcement and U.S. Customs and Border Protection crews arrived on scene, Friday, and safely brought the people aboard due to safety of life at sea. They were later transferred to Coast Guard Cutter Issac Mayo for repatriation.

A good Samaritan alerted Sector Miami Command Center watchstanders of a crowded 21-foot vessel. Watchstanders launched the station crew and Coast Guard Cutter Manatee to investigate the report.

“The crew and I are extremely pleased with the outcome of the recent joint interdiction with our shipmates from Station Fort Lauderdale,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Luke Brandenburg, Cutter Manatee boarding officer. “Sector Miami’s readiness posture and increased maritime domain awareness allowed for a prompt and safe interdiction, preserving both the safety of life at sea and the integrity of our maritime borders.”

The Coast Guard has interdicted 47 Cuban migrants in fiscal year 2021, which began Oct. 1, 2020, compared to 49 Cuban migrants in fiscal year 2020. These numbers represent the total number of at-sea interdictions, landings and disruptions in the Florida Straits, the Caribbean and Atlantic Ocean.

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

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