Coast Guard repatriates 39 Cubans to Cuba

A towing vessel's crewmember notified Sector Key West watchstanders of two overloaded rustic vessels approximately 10 miles off Long Key, Florida, Dec. 20, 2021. The people were repatriated to Cuba, Dec. 24, 2021. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

A towing vessel’s crewmember notified Sector Key West watchstanders of two overloaded rustic vessels approximately 10 miles off Long Key, Florida, Dec. 20, 2021. The people were repatriated to Cuba, Dec. 24, 2021. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

MIAMI — Coast Guard Cutter Raymond Evan’s crew repatriated 39 Cubans to Cuba Friday following four interdictions due to safety of life at sea concerns off the Florida Keys.

Coast Guard Cutter Mohawk’s crew notified Sector Key West watchstanders of a rustic vessel Sunday at about 7:15 a.m., approximately 10 miles off Stock Island.

Coast Guard Cutter Kathleen Moore’s crew notified Sector Key West watchstanders of a rustic vessel Monday at about 8:25 a.m., approximately 8 miles off Key West.

A towing vessel’s crewmember notified Sector Key West watchstanders of two rustic vessels Monday at about 10:15 a.m., approximately 10 miles off Long Key.

A Coast Guard Air Station Miami HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircrew notified Sector Key West watchstanders of a vessel Monday at about 12:45 p.m., Monday approximately 45 miles off Big Pine Key.

“The Coast Guard maintains a robust presence in the Florida Straits, Windward Passage and Mona Passage with surface and air assets,” said Lt. Paul Puddington, enforcement officer, Coast Guard District Seven. “We will continue to put a high priority on patrolling offshore to prevent illegal migration, save lives by removing migrants from unsafe environments and deterring dangerous illegal activity.”

Since Oct. 1, 2021, Coast Guard crews interdicted 462 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
  • 838 Cuban Migrants in Fiscal Year 2021

Once aboard a Coast Guard cutter, all migrants receive food, water, shelter and basic medical attention. Throughout the interdiction, Coast Guard crewmembers were equipped with personal protective equipment to minimize potential exposure to any possible case of COVID-19.

Family members in the United States inquiring about possible family members interdicted at sea, please contact your local U.S. representative. Relatives located outside the United States please contact your local U.S. Embassy.

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