58 Cuban migrants repatriated to Bahia de Cabanas

Migrants found aboard makeshift boats last Thursday

(Courtesy: U.S. Coast Guard)

MIAMI – The U.S. Coast Guard repatriated 58 Cuban migrants Tuesday to Bahia de Cabanas.

The repatriation is the result of five interdictions at sea in the south Florida Straits, Coast Guard officials said.

Twelve of the migrants were found last Thursday on a partially submerged boat nearly 100 miles southwest of Key West.

Within hours of that rescue, another 37 migrants were found on another boat.

"Homemade vessels with no navigation or lifesaving equipment trying to cross these dangerous waters is a recipe for disaster. On this day, it is safe to say the Coast Guard and the Isaac Mayo crew saved 58 lives," said Cmdr. Tim Cronin, Coast Guard 7th District deputy chief of law enforcement. "There is a legal and safe way to enter the United States...this is not it. The Coast Guard's priority in the Florida Straits is to protect people from the sea, but we also work hand in hand with our Customs and Border Protection to secure our borders from illegal entry."

Since Oct 1, more than 1,300 Cubans have attempted to illegally migrate to the U.S. via the sea, Coast Guard officials said.

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