Coast Guard repatriates 21 migrants to Bahia de Cabañas, Cuba

Coast Guard Cutter Raymond Evans file photo

Coast Guard Cutter Raymond Evans file photo

MIAMI — The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Raymond Evans repatriated 21 migrants Monday to Bahia de Cabañas, Cuba.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard 7th District command center received a report from the Cuban Border Guard Friday of a rustic vessel operating near Mariel, Cuba. The watchstanders diverted the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter William Trump, who arrived on scene and embarked 20 male migrants and one female migrant.

“The journey by rustic vessel undertaken by persons attempting to migrate illegally from Cuba to the United States is very dangerous, and this is as much a safety issue as it is a law enforcement issue,” said Capt. Jason Ryan, chief of the Coast Guard 7th District enforcement branch. “Migrants are subjected to hazardous conditions during these trips which many times are taken in overloaded, unseaworthy vessels to the point where the risk is simply not worth the reward.”

Approximately 313 Cuban migrants have attempted to illegally migrate to the U.S. via the maritime environment since Oct. 1 compared to 1,989 Cuban migrants in fiscal year 2017. These numbers represent the total number of at-sea interdictions, landings and disruptions in the Florida Straits, Caribbean and Atlantic.

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

The Raymond Evans and William Trump are 154-foot fast response cutters homeported in Key West.

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