Posted on Thursday, 05.23.13
7 migrants returned to Cuba by U.S. Coast Guard
By CHABELI HERRERA
Seven Cuban migrants have been returned to Bahia de Cabañas, Cuba, after
arriving off the Keys.
The Cuban migrants arrived May 18 east of Card Sound Bridge in a rustic
boat that was taking on water, the U.S. Coast Guard said. A Coast Guard
Air Miami helicopter and Coast Guard Station Islamorada boat crew
responded to the scene after getting a call from a passerby.
The migrants were removed from the boat and given food, water, shelter
and basic medical attention.
Under U.S. law, Cubans who are intercepted in the sea are usually
returned to Cuba. Those who made it on dry land are permitted to stay.
"Migrants who travel aboard ill-equipped vessels or smuggled aboard
go-fast boats are putting their lives at extreme risk, said Rear Adm.
William Baumgartner, Seventh Coast Guard District commander. "Our
migrant interdiction patrols help save lives by deterring dangerous
illegal migrant activity and removing migrants from unsafe environments."
They were escorted back to Cuba Wednesday afternoon in the Coast Guard
Cutter William Flores, a 154-foot Miami-based fast response cutter.
The seven were part of the 573 Cuban migrants returned to Cuba by the
Coast Guard nationwide since the start of the fiscal year on Oct. 1.
Most of the migrants are sent back from Miami.