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Coast Guard repatriates 8 migrants to Cuba

MIAMI — Coast Guard Cutter Brant’s crew repatriated eight Cuban migrants to Cuba, Saturday.

Seven of the migrants were interdicted by a Station Islamorada law enforcement team off Islamorada’s coast, Tuesday, after a Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations flight crew spotted the unsafe vessel from the air. 

One migrant was interdicted off Duck Key, Tuesday, by a Station Marathon law enforcement team and CBP marine interdiction agents.

“We patrol by air and sea with our agency partners in order to deter unsafe voyages,” said Lt. Cmdr. Mario Gil, Coast Guard liaison officer, U.S. Embassy Havana. “The loss of life is too great to make these trips in unsafe vessels.”

Since Oct. 1, 2020, Coast Guard crews have interdicted 87 Cubans compared to fiscal year 2019, Oct. 1, 2018 – Sept. 30, 2019, where crews interdicted 314 Cubans. 

Once aboard a Coast Guard cutter, all migrants receive food, water, shelter and basic medical attention. Throughout the interdiction, Coast Guard crew members were equipped with personal protective equipment to minimize potential exposure to any possible case of COVID-19.  There were no migrants in these cases reported to have any COVID-19 related symptoms.