Crewmembers from the US Coast Guard Cutter Key Biscayne repatriated 71 Cuban migrants to Bahia de Cabañas, Cuba, Tuesday.
This repatriation is a result of five separate attempts to illegally migrate to the United States aboard rustic vessels in the Florida Straits stemming back to July 3rd.
On July 3, a CBP-aircraft located a 20-foot chug with 13 Cuban migrants south of Islamorada, Florida. Sector Key West launched a boatcrew from Station Islamorada and diverted the Coast Guard Cutter Key Biscayne who arrived on scene, rescued the Cuban migrants and safely transferred them aboard the cutter.
On July 4, three separate interdictions totaling 35 migrants took place in the Florida Straits, including migrants located by the cruise ship Carnival Freedom. The crews of Coast Guard Air Station Miami, Station Marathon, Florida, the cutters Key Biscayne, Charles Sexton and Vigilant, interdicted the migrants and safely removed them from their unseaworthy vessels.
The following day, an Air Station Miami HC-144 aircrew detected a suspected migrant vessel with approximately 23 persons aboard. The Coast Guard Cutter Charles Sexton was diverted to the scene, arrived and safely embarked all migrants.
All the migrants interdicted were transferred to the Coast Guard Cutter Key Biscayne for repatriation.
Once aboard a Coast Guard cutter all migrants receive food, water, shelter, and basic medical attention.
Press Release, July 11, 2014; Image: USCG