Coast Guard repatriates 23 Cuban migrants

Southeastern Coast Guard NewsMIAMI — The crews of the Coast Guard Cutters Pea Island and Knight Island repatriated 23 Cuban migrants this week to Bahia de Cabañas, Cuba.

On Friday, Coast Guard Sector Key West, Fla., watchstanders received notification of a rustic vessel with 12 people aboard 44 miles southwest of Key West. The watchstanders diverted the cutter Pea Island, whose crew handed out lifejackets and safely embarked the migrants and repatriated them Sunday.

Later that day, Sector Key West watchstanders received notification of a wooden raft with 11 Cuban migrants aboard 46 miles south of Key West. The cutter Pea Island was diverted, and the crew safely embarked the 11 migrants. The migrants were transferred to the Knight Island and repatriated Wednesday.

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

The cutter Knight Island is a 110-foot patrol boat homeported in Key West.

The cutter Pea Island is a 110-foot patrol boat homeported in Key West.

For more information on how to legally immigrate to the United States, call U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) at 1-800-375-5283 or visit the USCIS website at

The cutters Knight Island, Pea Island and other Island-class patrol boats are being replaced by 58 new, Sentinel-class fast response cutters. The FRC will be capable of speeds in excess of 28 knots and operating in seas up to 18-feet. The FRC delivers tremendous lifesaving, law enforcement and homeland security capabilities in the same package.

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