Coast Guard Cutter Knight Island repatriates 16 Cuban migrants

MIAMI – Crewmembers aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Knight Island repatriated 16 Cuban migrants to Bahia de Cabañas, Cuba, Wednesday.

This repatriation is the result of two separate migrant interdictions at sea.

On Sunday, during a routine patrol, an aircrew aboard a Coast Guard HC-144 aircraft detected an unseaworthy rustic vessel southeast of Key West, Florida. After reporting the vessel to watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Key West, the Coast Guard Cutter Margaret Norvell arrived on scene and safely embarked 14 Cuban migrants.

On the same day, the Carinivial cruise ship Victory rescued two Cuban migrants from their unseaworthy raft southwest of Key West. The crew reported the migrants to the watchstanders at Sector Key West and safely transferred them to the Margaret Norvell.

The migrants were later transferred to the Coast Guard Cutter Knight Island for repatriation.

“The Coast Guard and our local partners maintain a robust presence in the Florida Straits using a variety of surface and aviation assets,” said Cmdr. Timothy Cronin, Coast Guard Seventh District deputy chief of enforcement. “There is a legal way to seek entry into the United States. For those that choose to take to the sea and attempt to illegally enter, know that the Coast Guard continues to diligently patrol the seas to deter and disrupt illegal migration and save lives”

Once aboard a Coast Guard cutter all migrants receive food, water, shelter, and basic medical attention.

The Coast Guard Cutter Knight Island is a 110-foot patrol boat homeported in Key West.

The Coast Guard Cutter Margaret Norvell is a 154-foot fast response cutter homeported in Miami.

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