Coast Guard repatriates 16 migrants to Cuba

MIAMI — Coast Guard Cutter Issac Mayo’s crew repatriated 16 Cubans to Cuba Friday following an interdiction off Marathon.

A good Samaritan reported a green hulled makeshift vessel Wednesday at approximately 10 a.m., to Sector Key West watchstanders approximately 5 miles off Boot Key Harbor.

Station Marathon and Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine law enforcement crews arrived on scene and transferred the migrants to the Issac Mayo.

One person was reported to have a superficial injury and was given first aid.

“With the consistent danger these smuggling ventures present, our crews remain vigilant to protect lives and enforce federal laws,” said Lt. Cmdr. Nicholas Zieser, commanding officer, Coast Guard Cutter Issac Mayo. “Coast Guard crews will interdict illegal migrants at-sea and return them to their country of origin.”

Since Oct, 1, 2020, Coast Guard crews have interdicted 829 Cubans 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

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