Wed | Sep 22, 2021

Coast guard repatriates migrants to Cuba

Published:Monday | February 22, 2021 | 12:05 AM


The United States Coast Guard says its Cutter Raymond Evans’ crew repatriated seven Cubans to Cuba on Friday after the coast guard cutter Richard Etheridge’s crew stopped their sea voyage due to concerns about the safety of the Cubans.

“A good Samaritan reported to Coast Guard Sector Miami watchstanders that a 15-foot green hull, wooden and aluminum vessel without a motor and seven people aboard was drifting, Wednesday, at approximately 8:30 a.m. (local time), 35 miles east of West Palm Beach.”

A coast guard auxiliary aircrew subsequently located the vessel and directed Richard Etheridge’s rescue crew to the scene.

“The crew brought the seven men aboard and reported the men left Havana, Cuba, six days prior and were in good health.”

In a statement, the coast guard said “the crew provided the migrants with lifejackets before embarking them aboard the cutter and once aboard, they received food, water, shelter and basic medical attention.”

Lt Cmdr Mario Gil, coast guard liaison officer, US Embassy Havana, said: “The coast guard and our partner agencies are aggressively maintaining a presence in the Florida Straits and discourage these dangerous and deadly voyages.

“US policy is to carry out orderly, safe and legal migration, which we support through deterrence of unlawful maritime migration,”he added.

This fiscal year, the US Coast Guard said more than 90 Cuban migrants have been interdicted trying to illegally cross into the country through the Florida straits.