The US Coast Guard sent 55 Cubans found off the coast of Florida back to their home country on Wednesday.
In a news release, the USCG said the crew of USCGC William Trump made the repatriations after the following interdictions off Florida’s coast over the past week:
– Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations aircrew alerted Sector Key West watchstanders of a “rustic vessel” approximately 50 miles south of Boca Chica around 12:10 p.m. Saturday, October 1.
– USCGC William Flores’ crew alerted Sector Key West of a migrant vessel approximately 10 miles south of Long Key around 6 a.m. Monday, October 3.
– Coast Guard Air Station Miami HC-144 Ocean Sentry airplane crew alerted Sector Key West to a “rustic vessel” taking on water approximately 30 miles south of Islamorada on Monday, October 3.
– Coast Guard Air Station Miami HC-144 Ocean Sentry airplane crew alerted Sector Key West to a “rustic vessel” approximately 40 miles south of Plantation Key around 8:20 a.m. Monday, October 3.
Once on board a ship, the Coast Guard said, all migrants receive food, water, shelter and basic medical attention.
“Hurricane season is not over and more storms are brewing,” said Lt. Connor Ives of USCG District Seven. “Our air and surface crews are patrolling and are on the lookout to save lives and prevent illegal, unsafe ventures.”
The USCG reported crews have interdicted 66 Cuban migrants since the start of the new fiscal year, October 1.
During the 2021-2022 fiscal year, the Coast Guard said, a total of 6,182 Cuban migrants were interdicted and sent back to Cuba.