46 Cuban migrants repatriated by U.S. Coast Guard

Migrants returned to Cuba on Sunday after trying to escape to U.S.

Published On: Jan 30 2013 03:52:06 PM EST   Updated On: Jan 14 2013 08:09:49 AM EST

The U.S. Coast Guard repatriated 46 Cuban migrants to Bahia de CabaƱas, Cuba on Sunday.

According to the Seventh Coast Guard District, the migrants were prosecuted in four different cases by the crews of the Coast Guard Cutters Knight Island and Sawfish. They were transferred to the cutter Kodiak Island for repatriation.

In a news release sent out Sunday morning, the Coast Guard said that one of its main jobs is to stop undocumented migrants from illegally entering the U.S. by way of sea.

"Migrants who travel aboard ill-equipped vessels or smuggled aboard go-fast boats are putting their lives at risk," said Rear Adm. William Baumgartner, commander of the Seventh Coast Guard District. He added that the migrant interdiction patrols help save lives by removing illegal migrants from unsafe environments.

In 2012, the Coast Guard found 1,875 Cuban migrants trying to get into the U.S. in the waters off the coast.

Each of the migrants received food, water, shelter and basic medical attention when they were taken aboard the cutters.

All three cutters are homeported in Key West, Fla.