Coast Guard repatriates 23 Cuban migrants

Southeastern Coast Guard News
MIAMI — Crewmembers aboard the Coast Guard Cutter William Flores repatriated 23 Cuban migrants to Bahia de Cabañas, Cuba, Wednesday.

This repatriation was a result of two migrant interdiction cases.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Key West, Fla., received a report from a good Samaritan of a rustic vessel south of Islamorada, Fla., May 10. A Coast Guard Station Islamorada boatcrew responded to the report and safely embarked 12 Cuban migrants.

The second migrant interdiction case occured on the same day after watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Key West received a report from a Coast Guard Air Station Miami HC-144 Ocean Sentry of a rustic vessel southeast of Key West. Sector Key West diverted the Coast Guard Cutter Ocracoke who later safely embarked 11 Cuban migrants.

The 23 migrants were then transferred to the Cutter William Flores for repatriation.

“The United States Coast Guard’s day-to-day critical missions including migrant interdiction operations remain steadfast,” said Capt. Brendan McPherson, 7th Coast Guard District chief of enforcement. “We continue to patrol vigilantly to rescue and repatriate undocumented migrants who take to the sea, and together with our partner agencies, will vigorously investigate and prosecute migrant smuggling and associated crimes.”

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

The Coast Guard Cutter William Flores is a 154-foot fast response cutter, homeported in Miami, Fla.

The Coast Guard Cutter Ocracoke is a 110-foot patrol boat, homeported in St. Petersburg, Fla.

The Cutter William Flores is one of the 58 new, Sentinel-class fast response cutters replacing the Island-class patrol boats. The FRC will be capable of speeds in excess of 28 knots and operating in seas up to 18-feet. The speed, stability and firepower of the FRC deliver tremendous lifesaving, law enforcement and homeland security capabilities in the same package.

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