Coast Guard Interdicts 27 Cuban Migrants 5 Miles South of Key West

A Coast Guard Station Key West 45-foot response boat-medium boat crew interdicts an 18-foot migrant chug with 27 Cuban migrants aboard on July 27 onto the Coast Guard small boat. U.S. Coast Guard/Petty Officer 3rd Class Daniel McCravy

MIAMI — The U.S. Coast Guard interdicted 27 Cuban migrants on July 27 about 5 miles south of Key West, the Coast Guard’s 7th District said in a release.

A Coast Guard Station Key West 45-foot response boat crew interdicted an 18-foot migrant chug with 27 Cuban migrants — 22 males, four females and one child — aboard. The crew safely embarked all 27 migrants aboard the station boat.

“These illegal ventures attempting to immigrate to the United States are extremely dangerous, especially during the hurricane season, when weather and sea conditions can dramatically and rapidly change in minutes, putting migrants in danger of being lost at sea,” said Capt. Jason Ryan, chief of the enforcement branch of the Coast Guard 7th District.

“The Coast Guard and our partner agencies’ priority is safety of life at sea and these voyages in ill-equipped vessels aren’t safe. The Coast Guard and our partner agencies maintain their focused and coordinated efforts to interdict and stop these unlawful migration attempts into the United States.”

The watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Key West were notified by a good Samaritan vessel of a possible migrant vessel. The watchstanders directed the launch of a Station Key West RB-M boat crew and diverted the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Kathleen Moore (WPC-1109) to assist.

The station crew rendezvoused with the cutter Kathleen Moore and safely transferred the migrants to the cutter.

A total of 438 Cuban migrants have attempted to illegally enter the U.S. by sea in fiscal year 2019 compared to 384 Cuban migrants in fiscal year 2018. These numbers represent the total number of at-sea interdictions, landings and disruptions in the Florida Straits, the Caribbean and the Atlantic.