Coast Guard repatriates 119 Cubans to Cuba

A good Samaritan rescued and reported to Sector Key West watchstanders of a vessel, Jan. 1, 2021, approximately 25 miles west of Boot Key, Florida
Coast Guard

The United States Coast Guard said on Tuesday that crews from its cutters Margaret Norvell and Raymond Evans repatriated 119 people to Bahia de Cabañas, Cuba, Monday, “due to safety of life at sea concerns.” 

The US Coast Guard said these repatriations are a result of 12 separate migrant interdictions at sea in the south Florida Straits. 

“In each instance, the Coast Guard helped secure the US border and prevented these perilous sea voyages from ending in tragedy,” said the US Coast Guard in a statement. 

It said a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Air and Marine Operations (AMO) flight crew reported to Coast Guard Sector Key West watchstanders at about 11:30 a.m., Thursday, of a vessel about 20 miles west of Cay Sal, Bahamas. 

The US Coast Guard said a CBP AMO boat crew reported to Sector Key West watchstanders at about noon, Thursday, of a vessel about five miles southeast of Marquesas, Florida. 

A Coast Guard Station Marathon boat crew reported to Sector Key West watchstanders at about 2:45 p.m., Thursday, of a vessel about 35 miles south of Cudjoe Key, Florida, the US Coast Guard said. 

Additionally, it said a CBP AMO boat crew reported to Sector Key West watchstanders at about 5:30 p.m., Thursday, of a vessel about 25 miles east of Biscayne Bay, Florida.

“Navigating the seas in a less than seaworthy vessel is dangerous and could result in loss of life,” said Captain Adam Chamie, Commander of Sector Key West, Florida. 

“Coast Guard crews and our local and federal law enforcement partners maintain an active presence with air and sea assets every day through the Florida Straits to help save lives by removing people from unsafe environments and deterring dangerous migrant voyages,” he said. “We urge people not to take to the sea in unseaworthy vessels.” 

So far in fiscal year 2022, the US Coast Guard said 586 Cuban migrants have attempted to illegally migrate to the US via the sea 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; and 838 Cuban migrants in Fiscal Year 2021.

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