Coast Guard repatriates 43 Cuban migrants found off coast of Florida Keys

A Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater C-130 Hercules law enforcement air crew alerted Coast Guard Sector Key West watch standers of a rustic vessel about 40 miles south of Long Key, Florida, May 17. (U.S. Coast Guard)

MIAMI – The U.S. Coast Guard repatriated 43 people to Cuba on Saturday, following four interdictions off the Florida Keys.

A Coast Guard aircrew alerted Coast Guard Sector Key West watch standers of a rustic boat around 3:45 p.m. Tuesday that was about 40 miles south of Long Key.

A Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations law enforcement air crew alerted Coast Guard Sector Key West watch standers of a rustic vessel about 65 miles south of Marathon, Florida, May 18. (U.S. Coast Guard)

On Wednesday, a Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations aircrew alerted Coast Guard Sector Key West watch standers of another rustic boat around 10:50 a.m., about 50 miles south of Islamorada.

Then, two hours later, the same crew alerted watch standers of a boat about 45 miles south of Big Pine Key.

The fourth interdiction was also on Wednesday at around 3:30 p.m., about 65 miles south of Marathon when another rustic vessel was spotted.

“The Coast Guard and our partners have increased air and surface patrols in the Florida Straits, Windward and Mona Passages. These waterways are dangerous, unpredictable and the risk for loss of life is great,” said Petty Officer Nicole J. Groll, Coast Guard District Seven.

Since Oct. 1, 2021, Coast Guard crews interdicted 1,952 Cubans compared to:

• 5,396 Cuban Migrants in Fiscal Year 2016

• 1,468 Cuban Migrants in Fiscal Year 2017

• 259 Cuban Migrants in Fiscal Year 2018

• 313 Cuban Migrants in Fiscal Year 2019

• 49 Cuban Migrants in Fiscal Year 2020

• 838 Cuban Migrants in Fiscal Year 2021


About the Author:

Alex Ciccarone is a Digital Journalist at WPLG. She was born and raised in Miami and graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelors of Science degree in Telecommunications.