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US Coast Guard repatriates 50 Cuban migrants
Published on September 6, 2013 Email To Friend    Print Version

MIAMI, USA -- Crewmembers aboard the US Coast Guard Cutter Bernard C. Webber repatriated 50 Cuban migrants to Bahia de Cabañas, Cuba, on Monday.

This repatriation was a result of four separate migrant interdiction events on August 28.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Key West, Florida, received a report from Customs and Border Protection that they had located a rustic vessel with 21 people aboard south of Key West. The Coast Guard Cutter Key Biscayne was diverted to the scene, launched their smallboat crew, and safely embarked all migrants.

The second migrant interdiction occurred after sector Key West watchstanders received a report from a good Samaritan stating they were on scene with a raft that had 12 migrants aboard south of Dry Tortugas, Florida. The cutter Key Biscayne was diverted to the scene, and her crew safely embarked the migrants.

The third migrant interdiction occurred after sector Key West watchstanders received a 911 relay from Monroe County Sheriff’s Office of a vessel in distress south of Boot Key, Florida. A boatcrew from Coast Guard Station Marathon was launched, arrived on scene, and safely embarked eight migrants from a 21-foot raft.

The fourth interdiction occurred after sector Key West watchstanders were notified by a good Samaritan that they located a raft with nine Cuban migrants aboard east of Delray Beach, Florida. Fort Lauderdale Police Department and Boca Raton Police Department arrived on scene and embarked the migrants. The nine migrants were later transferred to the Coast Guard Cutter Dolphin.

The 50 migrants were then transferred to the cutter Bernard C. Webber for repatriation.

"Our main concern is the safety of life at sea. When migrants put their lives in the hands of smugglers, or take to the sea aboard unseaworthy vessels, they put their lives at grave risk,” said Capt. Mark Fedor, chief of response enforcement. "Attempting to cross the Florida Straits in a homemade raft or vessel is inherently dangerous. These 50 migrants were without a doubt rescued from the perils of the sea."

Once aboard a Coast Guard cutter all migrants receive food, water, shelter, and basic medical attention.
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