MIAMI — The Coast Guard Cutter Pea Island and Nantucket repatriated 52 Cuban migrants to Bahia de Cabañas, Cuba, this week.
Coast Coast 7th District command center watchstanders received notification of a disabled 35-foot center console west of the Bahamas with an unknown amount of suspected migrants aboard Sept. 2. The Coast Guard Cutter Oak arrived on scene and embarked 20 Cuban migrants. The 20 migrants were later transferred to the cutter Nantucket and repatriated Sept. 7.
Coast Guard 7th District command center watchstanders received notification of a 15-foot chug that departed Cuba with 12 suspected migrants Sept. 3. The cutter Nantucket intercepted the vessel southwest of Key West and embarked 12 Cuban migrants. The cutter Nantucket repatriated nine of the 12 migrants on Sept. 7 and the Pea Island repatriated the remaining three on Sept. 9.
Coast Guard Sector Key West watchstanders received notification of a disabled vessel south of Key West with an unknown number of suspected migrants aboard. The cutter Oak arrived on scene and embarked 21 Cuban migrants. The migrants were transferred to the cutter Pea Island and repatriated Sept. 8.
Once aboard a Coast Guard cutter, all migrants receive food, water, shelter and basic medical attention.
"The U.S. Coast Guard and its partners maintain a robust patrol presence throughout the Caribbean Sea to deter illicit maritime activity," said Capt. Brendan McPherson, chief of enforcement for the Coast Guard 7th District. "Our main concern is always for the safety of these migrants who are putting their lives at extreme risk in unseaworthy vessels and to protect our nation’s borders by deterring dangerous and illegal activity."
Patrol boats like the Pea Island and Nantucket are the workhorses of America's littoral maritime fleet. Possessing superior speed and flexibility, Coast Guard patrol boats deliver the Coast Guard's unique blend of military capability, law enforcement authority and lifesaving expertise wherever needed along the coast.
The cutter Pea Island is a 110-foot patrol boat homeported in Key West, Fla.
The cutter Nantucket is a 110-foot patrol boat homeported in St. Petersburg, Fla.
The cutter Oak is a 225-foot sea-going buoy tender homeported in Charleston, South Carolina.