Posted: April 26, 2018 4:55 PM

Coast Guard Repatriates 28 Cuban Migrants

MigrantPhotoMIAMI — The Coast Guard Cutter Isaac Mayo crew repatriated 28 Cuban migrants April 26 to Cuba, following two separate interdiction cases, the Coast Guard 7th District said in a release.

A Coast Guard Air Station Miami HC-144 Ocean Sentry fixed-wing aircraft crew located a rustic vessel traveling northbound approximately 20 miles north of Cuba, April 21. The Coast Guard Cutter Kathleen Moore crew arrived on scene and safely embarked 19 Cuban nationals who attempted to enter the United States illegally.

The Kathleen Moore crew interdicted a second illegal entry attempt by stopping a 25-foot rustic vessel with 10 Cuban migrants aboard approximately 58 miles northeast of Matanzas, Cuba, on April 23 with assistance by a Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater HC-130 Hercules fixed-wing aircraft crew.

One of the 19 individuals interdicted at sea was transferred to local Miami-Dade Police law enforcement due to an open arrest warrant for grand theft auto in Miami-Dade County.

“The Coast Guard and our partners continue to maintain a constant presence in the Florida Straits with both air and surface assets,” said Capt. Mark Vlaun, staff judge advocate of Coast Guard 7th District. “Today’s safe and swift repatriation is reflective of our interagency commitment to stop illegal and unsafe entry by sea into the United States before these voyages end in tragedy on the open ocean.”

Once aboard Coast Guard cutters, all migrants receive food, water, shelter and medical attention.

“We cannot stress enough that these illegal migration attempts are dangerous, futile and often times fueled by rumor or coaxed by criminals who will lie to or exploit migrants,” said Capt. Willie Carmichael, deputy chief of enforcement of Coast Guard 7th District.

Approximately 144 Cuban migrants have attempted to illegally enter the U.S. via the maritime environment since the fiscal year began on Oct. 1, compared with 1,951 Cuban migrants in fiscal year 2017. These numbers represent the total number of at-sea interdictions, landings and disruptions in the Florida Straits, the Caribbean and Atlantic.

The cutters Kathleen Moore and Isaac Mayo are a 154-foot Sentinel-class cutters homeported in Key West, Florida.

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