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US Coast Guard repatriates 66 Cuban migrants
Published on September 14, 2013 Email To Friend    Print Version

MIAMI, USA -- Crewmembers aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Paul Clark repatriated 66 Cuban migrants to Bahia de Cabañas, Cuba, on Friday.

This repatriation was a result of four separate migrant interdiction events this week.

On Monday, watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Key West, Florida, received a report of an unseaworthy vessel with possible migrants aboard south of Key West. The Coast Guard cutter Pea Island and crew located the vessel and embarked 13 Cuban migrants.

The second migrant interdiction occurred on Monday after sector Key West watchstanders received a report of a wooden rowboat south of Big Pine Key. A Coast Guard Station Marathon smallboat crew was launched to the scene and safely embarked five Cuban migrants.

The third migrant interdiction occurred the same day after sector Key West watchstanders received a report of an unseaworthy raft with possible migrants aboard south of Marquesas. A station Key West smallboat crew was launched and safely embarked 25 Cuban migrants.

The fourth interdiction also occurred on Monday after sector Key West received a report of an unseaworthy vessel with migrants aboard south of Marathon. A Coast Guard Station Marathon smallboat crew arrived on scene and safely embarked 23 migrants for repatriation.

The 66 migrants were then transferred to the cutter Paul Clark 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 66 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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