The Coast Guard interdicted 27 Cuban migrants on July 27, 2019 approximately 5 miles south of Key West, Florida.
The Coast Guard boat crew interdicted an 18-foot migrant boat with 27 Cuban migrants, 22 males, four females and one child, aboard. The crew safely embarked all 27 migrants aboard the station boat.
The watch standers at Coast Guard Sector Key West were notified by a good Samaritan vessel of a possible migrant vessel stating they over heard people speaking, but couldn’t see any vessel or people.
The station crew rendezvoused with another boat and safely transferred the migrants to a safe boat. Once aboard a Coast Guard boat, all migrants received food, water, shelter, and basic medical attention.
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Approximately 438 Cuban migrants have attempted to illegally enter the U.S. via the maritime environment in fiscal year 2019 compared to 384 Cuban migrants in fiscal year 2018. These numbers represent the total number of at-sea interdictions, landings, and disruptions in the Florida Straits, the Caribbean, and Atlantic.
Capt. Jason Ryan, Chief of Enforcement Branch of the Coast Guard 7th District says:
“These illegal ventures attempting to immigrate to the United States are extremely dangerous, especially during the hurricane season when weather and sea conditions can dramatically and rapidly change in minutes putting migrants in danger of being lost at sea,”
The Captain continued,
“The Coast Guard and our partner agencies' first priority is safety of life at sea and these voyages in ill-equipped vessels aren’t safe. The Coast Guard and our partner agencies maintain their focused and coordinated efforts to interdict and stop these unlawful migration attempts in to the United States. Migrants caught attempting to gain access into the U.S. through these dangerously illegal undertakings at-sea will be will be repatriated to their country in accordance with existing U.S. immigration policy.”