MIAMI — The Coast Guard repatriated 50 Cuban migrants to Bahia de Cabañas, Cuba, Wednesday, who were interdicted in three separate events in the past week.
All three interdictions included unseaworthy, homemade vessels that posed significant risk to the migrants attempting to make the perilous journey.
On May 8, the crew aboard the Carnival Breeze cruise ship located a rustic vessel south of Dry Tortugas, Florida, with 27 Cuban migrants aboard. The Coast Guard Cutter Paul Clark arrived on scene and safely embarked the migrants. Later in the day, a boatcrew from Coast Guard Station Key West interdicted a rustic vessel south of Marquesas Key, Florida, with 15 Cuban migrants aboard. The Paul Clark rendezvoused with the boatcrew and safely embarked the migrants.
On May 9, during a patrol, the crew aboard an Air Station Miami HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircraft located eight Cuban migrants north of Matanzas, Cuba. The Paul Clark arrived on scene and safely embarked the migrants.
"Along with our Department of Homeland Security and international partners, the Coast Guard continues to robustly patrol the Florida Straits and Caribbean sea to prevent migrants from taking the perilous and illegal maritime journey to the United States," said Capt Mark Gordon, Chief of Response Enforcement for Coast Guard 7th District in Miami. "Once aboard a Coast Guard cutter, we will seek to quickly repatriate illegal migrants to their respective countries."
All of the migrants were safely removed from their makeshift vessels and were transferred to the Coast Guard Cutter Valiant for repatriation.
Once aboard a Coast Guard cutter all migrants receive food, water, shelter and basic medical attention.
Coast Guard assets involved in these two cases were:
Coast Guard Cutter Paul Clark, a 154-foot fast response cutter homeported in Miami.
Coast Guard Cutter Valiant, a 210-foot medium endurance cutter homeported in Jacksonville, Florida.
Since Oct. 1, the Coast Guard 7th District estimates that 1,759 Haitians, 2,460 Cubans and 321 Dominicans have attempted to illegally migrate via the sea. These numbers represent the total amount of at-sea interdictions, landings and disruptions in the Florida Straits, the Caribbean and Atlantic.