Coast Guard repatriates 54 Cuban migrants

MIAMI — The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Chandeleur repatriated 54 Cuban migrants interdicted during five separate interdictions at sea within the past eight days to Bahia de CabaƱas, Cuba, Friday.

An HU-25 Falcon jet crew from Coast Guard Air Station Miami located a go-fast vessel approximately 25 miles south of Key West, Fla., Monday. A Coast Guard Station Key West Response Boat-Medium crew was launched to intercept the go-fast vessel. Once on scene, the crew used warning shots and disabling fire, the first time ever from an RB-M in the Seventh District, to bring the vessel to a halt after the go-fast operator failed to stop as ordered. The 28 Cuban migrants aboard were transferred to the cutter Sawfish and the two suspected smugglers were transferred to Immigrations and Customs Enforcement officials in Key West.

The remaining 26 Cuban migrants were interdicted from four different rustic vessels between April 2 and Monday.

Once aboard Coast Guard cutters, all migrants are provided with food, water, shelter and necessary medical attention.

A total of 469 Cuban migrants have been interdicted since Oct. 1, 2008.

The cutter Chandeleur is a 110-foot patrol boat homeported in Miami.
The cutter Sawfish is an 87-foot patrol boat homeported in Key West.

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