Friday, June 26, 2015

Coast Guard repatriates 55 to Cuba

Coast Guard repatriates 55 to Cuba
Fifty-five Cuban migrants aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Charles David
Jr. were repatriated Thursday to Bahia de Cabañas, Cuba.

The repatriation was the result of five separate migrant interdictions
at sea in the South Florida Straits. Four of these events were Cubans
trying to illegally enter the United States on unseaworthy vessels,
commonly called "rustics" or "chugs." In addition to securing the U.S.
border, the Coast Guard also prevented the ocean voyages from
potentially ending in tragedy, said Cmdr. Jeff Swanson, commanding
officer of the Coast Guard Cutter Tampa.

"Homemade vessels with no navigation or life-saving equipment trying to
cross these dangerous waters is a recipe for disaster," said Swanson.

On Sunday, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Air and
Marine assisted the Coast Guard in safely interdicting a non-compliant
Cuban fishing vessel with 18 Cuban migrants aboard, approximately 12
miles south of Key West. The Office of Air and Marine agents then
transferred them to the Coast Guard Cutter Tampa.

"This case is a great example of how the U.S. Coast Guard works with its
Department of Homeland Security partner agencies to protect and secure
our maritime border," said Cmdr. Tim Cronin, Coast Guard Seventh
District deputy chief of law enforcement. "There is a legal way to enter
the United States...this is not it. We will seek to hold smugglers
accountable and quickly repatriate migrants to their country of origin."

Since Oct. 1, the Coast Guard 7th District estimates that 2,806 Cubans
have attempted to illegally migrate via the sea. These numbers represent
the total amount of at-sea interdictions, landings and disruptions in
the Florida Straits, the Caribbean and Atlantic.

Source: Coast Guard repatriates 55 to Cuba | -

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