Coast Guard intercepts 11 Cuban migrants off Islamorada

Migrants stranded at sea for more than week

By Hatzel Vela - Cuba Correspondent

ISLAMORADA, Fla. - Despite the end of the "wet foot, dry foot" policy in January 2017, Cubans continue to risk their lives by taking to the sea trying to reach the U.S. 

The U.S. Coast Guard announced Thursday it repatriated 11 Cuban migrants back to the island.

"A good Samaritan located a rustic vessel approximately 18 miles southeast of Islamorada Monday," the Coast Guard said in a statement. 

"The rustic vessels we interdict are often overloaded, manifestly unsafe and the people aboard may have been at sea for days without proper food, water or medical attention," Lt. J.G. Vladimir Domanskiy, executive officer of the Cutter Isaac Mayo, said. "The individuals repatriated were stranded at sea for more than a week." 

Since Oct. 1, the Coast Guard reports 137 Cuban migrants have fled Cuba by sea but were intercepted. Last fiscal year, there were 384 Cuban migrants who attempted to arrive to the U.S. by boat.

Copyright 2018 by WPLG Local10.com - All rights reserved.