MIAMI, USA -- The US Coast Guard repatriated a total of 24 Cuban migrants to Bahia de Cabañas, Cuba, in two separate incidents last week.
On Saturday, Coast Guard Sector Key West, Florida, watch-standers received a report from a Customs and Border Protection maritime patrol aircraft of a rustic vessel southwest of Key West. Sector Key West diverted the Coast Guard Cutter Valiant to respond and the Valiant safely embarked 11 Cuban migrants from the unseaworthy vessel.
The migrants were then transferred to the Coast Guard Cutter Pea Island for repatriation.
The Coast Guard repatriated another 13 migrants to Bahia de Cabañas on Wednesday after receiving a report of suspected migrants aboard an unseaworthy vessel. Watch-standers diverted the Coast Guard Cutter Valiant, whose crew arrived on scene and embarked 13 Cuban migrants. The migrants were later transferred to the Coast Guard Cutter Kodiak Island for repatriation.
"Illegal migrant ventures at sea are both risky and dangerous," said Capt. Brendan McPherson, 7th Coast Guard District chief of enforcement. "The Coast Guard will continue to put a high priority on patrolling offshore to prevent illegal migration and rescue those who put themselves at risk aboard unseaworthy rafts and rusticas."
Once aboard a Coast Guard cutter, all migrants receive food, water, shelter and basic medical attention.