US Coast Guard crews aboard the Coast Guard Cutters Key Biscayne and Margaret Norvell repatriated 53 Cuban migrants to Bahia de Cabañas, Cuba.
These repatriations are a result of three separate interdictions of people attempting to illegally migrate to the United States.
On Sept. 16, the crew of the Coast Guard Cutters Pelican and Cypress interdicted 15 Cuban migrants aboard a rustic vessel south of Houma, Louisiana. All 15 Cuban migrants were later transferred to the Coast Guard Cutter Vigilant.
On Sept. 18, the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Margaret Norvell located and arrived on scene with a rustic vessel carrying 29 Cuban migrants southeast of Key West, Florida. Crewmembers aboard the Margaret Norvell rescued and safely transferred all Cuban migrants to the cutter.
On Sept. 20, watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector New Orleans received notification from a motor vessel crew who came across a raft with nine Cuban migrants south of Mobile, Alabama. The motor vessel transferred the nine Cuban migrants off the unseaworthy raft and safely embarked them onto the cutter Vigilant.
In fiscal year 2014, the Coast Guard 7th District estimates that 5,409 Haitians, 3,657 Cubans and 573 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.
Press Release, September 26, 2014; Image: USCG