MIAMI — Coast Guard Cutter Kathleen Moore’s crew repatriated 23 Cubans to Cuba Saturday following an interdiction approximately 15 miles south of Big Pine Key and a search and rescue mission off the coast of Key West, the Coast Guard 7th District said in a July 10 release.
A good Samaritan reported a vessel with 15 people aboard to Coast Guard Sector Key West watchstanders at 10 a.m. Saturday. A Station Key West law enforcement crew arrived on scene and brought the migrants aboard. They are reported in good health.
“Navigating the Florida Straits on a good day is difficult and unpredictable in rustic vessels,” said Lt. Cmdr. Mario Gil, Coast Guard Liaison Officer, Cuba. “Daring these voyages during hurricane force winds and seas are treacherous and lives have a greater risk of being lost.”
Since Oct, 1, 2020, Coast Guard crews have interdicted 554 Cubans 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
Once aboard a Coast Guard cutter, all migrants receive food, water, shelter and basic medical attention. Throughout the interdiction, Coast Guard crew members were equipped with personal protective equipment to minimize potential exposure to any possible case of COVID-19.