Coast Guard repatriates 15 migrants to Cuba

Crewmembers aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Charles Sexton repatriate 15 Cuban migrants to Bahia de Cabañas, Cuba, on Dec. 9, 2017. The migrants were interdicted approximately 65 miles southeast of Dry Tortugas, Florida, on Dec. 6, 2017 by the Coast Guard Cutter William Trump. (Coast Guard photo)

Crewmembers aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Charles Sexton repatriate 15 Cuban migrants to Bahia de Cabañas, Cuba, on Dec. 9, 2017.  (Coast Guard photo)

MIAMI — Crewmembers aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Charles Sexton repatriated 15 Cuban migrants to Bahia de Cabañas, Cuba, Saturday.

An HC-144 CASA aircrew from Air Station Miami observed a migrant rustic Wednesday while on patrol approximately 65 miles southeast of Dry Tortugas, Florida. Watch-standers at Coast Guard Sector Key West diverted the cutter William Trump crew who arrived on scene, interdicted and safely embarked the migrants.

“Illegal migrant ventures at sea are both risky and dangerous,” said Cmdr. Willie Carmichael, deputy chief of enforcement for the Coast Guard 7th District. “The Coast Guard and its partner agencies will continue to maintain a constant presence to stop and prevent illegal migration, and do everything we can to rescue those who put themselves at risk aboard unseaworthy rafts before they end tragically.”

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

Approximately 31 Cuban migrants have attempted to illegally migrate to the U.S. via the maritime environment since the beginning of the 2018 fiscal year, which started Oct. 1, compared to 1,934 Cuban migrants in fiscal year 2017. These numbers represent the total number of at-sea interdictions, landings and disruptions in the Florida Straits, the Caribbean and Atlantic.

The Coast Guard Cutters Charles Sexton and William Trump are 154-foot Sentinel-class cutters homeported in Key West, Florida. Missions include search and rescue, maritime law enforcement, marine environmental protection, homeland security, and national defense operations.

This article has been corrected to show that the Cutter Charles Sexton repatriated the Cubans rather than the Cutter William Trump.

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