Coast Guard transfers 21 migrants to Bahamas

A migrant vessel following an interdiction approximately 55 miles northeast of Anguilla Cay, Bahamas, Oct. 24, 2021. The Coast Guard Cutter Margaret Norvell's crew transferred 21 Cubans to Bahamas, Oct. 26, 2021, due to safety of life at sea concerns. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

A migrant vessel following an interdiction approximately 55 miles northeast of Anguilla Cay, Bahamas, Oct. 24, 2021. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

MIAMI — Coast Guard Cutter Margaret Norvell’s crew transferred 21 Cubans to Bahamian authorities, Tuesday.

During a routine law enforcement flight, a Coast Guard Air Station Miami HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircrew notified Coast Guard Sector Key West watchstanders at 6:10 p.m, Sunday, of a 20-foot vessel with 16 people aboard approximately 55 miles northeast of Anguilla Cay, Bahamas. The Cutter Margaret Norvell’s crew arrived on scene and transferred the migrants aboard in good health.

A Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations airplane crew notified Sector Key West watchstanders at approximately 11:10 p.m., Sunday, of a 16-foot vessel with five people aboard approximately 6 miles south of Elbow Cay, Bahamas. They were brought aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Isaac Mayo and reported in good health.

“Coast Guard crews patrol the Florida Straits, Windward Passage and the Mona Passage to save lives by removing migrants from unsafe environments and deterring dangerous illegal migrant activity” said Petty Officer 3rd Class Patrick Nolan, a duty watchstander at Sector Key West. “Seas, weather and water conditions can all change in an instant, you should expect the unexpected.”

No injuries were reported.

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.

Since Oct, 1, 2021, Coast Guard crews have interdicted 210 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

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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