Coast Guard repatriates 49 people to Cuba

A Coast Guard Station Marathon law enforcement crew stops a rustic vessel approximately south of Long Key, Florida at about 10:45 a.m., May 1, 2022. The people were repatriated to Cuba on May 4, 2022. (U.S Coast Guard photo by Air Station Miami)

A Coast Guard Station Marathon law enforcement crew stops a rustic vessel approximately south of Long Key, Florida at about 10:45 a.m., May 1, 2022.  (U.S Coast Guard photo by Air Station Miami)

MIAMI — Coast Guard Cutter William Flores’ crew repatriated 49 Cubans to Cuba, Wednesday, following four interdictions off the Florida Keys.

A good Samaritan notified Coast Guard Sector Key West watchstanders of a rustic vessel, Friday, at approximately 8:20 a.m., about 30 miles south of Key West.

A good Samaritan notified Coast Guard Sector Key West watchstanders of a rustic vessel, Sunday, at approximately 10:30 a.m., about 2.5 miles southeast of Ocean Reef Club, Key Largo.

Coast Guard Air Station Miami HC-144 Ocean Sentry alerted Sector Key West watchstanders of a migrant vessel, Sunday, at approximately 10:40 a.m., about 23 miles south of Long Key.

A good Samaritan notified Coast Guard Sector Key West watchstanders of a migrant vessel taking on water, Sunday, at approximately 11 a.m., about 16 miles south of Key West.

“When our crews arrive on scene, no one is wearing a life jacket and the vessel is usually taking on water because these rustic, unsafe vessels are built with anything that floats,” said Petty Officer Nicole J. Groll, a Coast Guard District Seven public affairs specialist. “These voyages are dangerous and the risk for loss of life is great.”

Since Oct. 1, 2021, Coast Guard crews interdicted 1,556 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.

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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