Coast Guard repatriates 35 migrants to Cuba

The Coast Guard interdicted 13 Cuban migrants from an inflatable raft approximately 61 miles south of Key West, Florida Sep. 1, 2021. The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Raymond Evans’ (WPC-1110) crew repatriated the migrants to Cuba, Sep. 4, 2021. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

The Coast Guard interdicted 13 Cuban migrants from an inflatable raft approximately 61 miles south of Key West, Florida Sep. 1, 2021.  (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

MIAMI — Coast Guard Cutter Raymond Evans’ crew repatriated 35 Cubans to Cuba, Saturday, following five interdictions off the coast of Key West, Florida.

While on a routine patrol, a Coast Guard Air Station Miami HC-144 airplane crew notified Coast Guard Sector Key West watchstanders at 5:10 p.m., Sunday, of a rustic vessel with five people aboard approximately 63 miles south of Key West, Florida. They were brought aboard Coast Guard Cutter Raymond Evans and reported in good health.

While on a routine patrol, a Coast Guard Air Clearwater HC-130 airplane crew notified Sector Key West watchstanders at 5:40 p.m., Wednesday, of a rustic vessel with 13 people aboard approximately 61 miles south of Key West. They were brought aboard the Cutter Raymond Evans and reported in good health.

A Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations airplane crew notified Sector Key West watchstanders at 9:40 p.m., Wednesday, of a 20-foot fishing vessel with five people aboard approximately 25 miles south of Marathon, Florida. They were brought aboard the Cutter Raymond Evans and reported in good health.

A good Samaritan notified Sector Key West watchstanders at 10:15 a.m., Thursday, of a green raft with three people aboard approximately 23 miles southeast of Marathon. They were brought aboard the Cutter Raymond Evans and reported in good health.

A Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations airplane crew notified Sector Key West watchstanders at approximately 12:10 a.m, Friday, of a rustic vessel with nine people aboard approximately 2 miles south of Marathon. They were brought aboard Cutter Raymond Evans and reported in good health.

“Navigating the Florida Straits is difficult and unpredictable in rustic vessels,” said Lt. Cmdr. Mario Gil, Coast Guard Liaison Officer, U.S. Embassy Havana. “Taking to the seas on unsafe vessels is dangerous and can result in loss of life.”

Since Oct, 1, 2020, Coast Guard crews have interdicted 729 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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