Coast Guard suspends search for 9 missing Cubans off Key West

Coast Guard Cutter Thetis file photo

Coast Guard Cutter Thetis file photo

MIAMI — The Coast Guard suspended the search for the nine missing Cubans approximately 26 miles southeast of Key West, Friday, at approximately 10:30 p.m., pending the development of new information.

Coast Guard air and surface asset personnel conducted multiple search patterns for more than 192 hours. These searches covered approximately 7,459 square miles, which is just under the size of New Hampshire.

The motor vessel Western Carmen’s crew contacted Sector Key West watchstanders, Tuesday, at approximately 1:30 p.m. to report they found four people in the water. The 13 survivors reported they left Cuba with 22 people aboard and capsized approximately 8 p.m, on Monday and nine people were missing in the water.

“Our deepest condolences go out to the families and loved ones impacted by this tragedy,” said Sean Connett, command duty officer, District Seven. “The decision to suspend a search is always difficult and is made after exhausting all search information.”

The 13 survivors are being processed as migrants and are anticipated to be repatriated to Cuba.

Coast Guard and partner agencies assets involved in the search include:

  • Coast Guard Cutter Thetis
  • Coast Guard Cutter William Trump
  • Coast Guard Cutter Kathleen Moore
  • Coast Guard Cutter Flying Fish
  • Coast Guard Air Station Miami,
  • Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater
  • Coast Guard Air Auxiliary
  • Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations aircraft


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