Coast Guard repatriates 29 migrants to Cuba; 2 smugglers detained

Two Cubans in a 10-foot styrofoam hull rustic vessel with off Key West, Aug. 3, 2021. A Station Key West law enforcement crew intercepted the vessel and transferred the men to Coast Guard Cutter Raymond Evans for repatriation. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

Two Cubans in a 10-foot styrofoam hull rustic vessel with off Key West, Aug. 3, 2021.  (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

MIAMI — Coast Guard Cutter Raymond Evans’ crew repatriated 29 Cubans to Cuba, Monday, following four interdictions off the Florida Keys.

A good Samaritan notified Coast Guard Sector Key West watchstanders of a suspicious vessel with 20 people aboard near Cuban waters, Aug. 2, at approximately 11 a.m. An Air Station Miami HC-144 Ocean Sentry law enforcement flight crew and a law enforcement team from Coast Guard Cutter Daniel Tarr intercepted the vessel. The people were transferred to Coast Guard Cutter Raymond Evans for repatriation. One migrant was determined to have a valid manifestation of fear and is being transferred to the proper authorities.

A good Samaritan notified Coast Guard Sector Key West watchstanders of a suspicious vessel with five people aboard at approximately 9 a.m., Tuesday, about 11 miles off Key Largo. A Station Islamorada law enforcement crew and an Air Station Clearwater MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew intercepted the vessel. The five people were transferred to Coast Guard Cutter Raymond Evans for repatriation.

A good Samaritan notified Coast Guard Sector Key West watchstanders of a 10-foot styrofoam hull rustic vessel approximately 2 miles off Key West with two males aboard at approximately 8 a.m., Wednesday. A Station Key West law enforcement crew intercepted the vessel and transferred the men to Coast Guard Cutter Raymond Evans for repatriation.

A good Samaritan notified Coast Guard Sector Key West watchstanders of a suspicious vessel near Cuban waters at approximately 8 a.m., Friday. A Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations flight crew and a Station Islamorada law enforcement team intercepted the vessel with five people aboard. Two people were transferred to Border Patrol for administrative processing and referred to Homeland Security Investigations for a follow-up investigation into suspected human smuggling. Three people were transferred to Coast Guard Cutter Raymond Evans for repatriation

“Taking to the seas in a less than sea-worthy vessel is dangerous and can result in loss of life,” said Lt. Cmdr. Mario Gil, Coast Guard Liaison officer, Cuba.

Since Oct, 1, 2020, Coast Guard crews have interdicted 648 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.

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