Coast Guard repatriates 77 people to Cuba

The U.S. Coast Guard released this photograph on Tuesday after repatriating a group of 77 migrants to Cuba. (USCG)

MIAMI – The U.S. Coast Guard announced a crew repatriated 77 migrants on Tuesday to Cuba amid an ongoing increase in migration from the communist island.

The migrants risked their lives to cross the Florida Straits during their failed attempt to get to the U.S. in what the Coast Guard described as “rustic” vessels. The Coast Guard found them near the Florida Keys.

On Saturday, crews intercepted part of the group at about 4:10 p.m., some 50 miles south of Ramrod Key, and another group at about 6:25 p.m., about 6 miles south of Boot Key. On Sunday, crews intercepted a third group of migrants at about 9:20 a.m., some 12 miles south of Marathon.

The U.S. Coast Guard also reported so far they have intercepted 2,967 Cuban migrants since October. The tally surpasses the 2,927 Cuban migrants the Coast Guard intercepted during the last four fiscal years (2017-2021).

“We will continue to put a high priority on patrolling offshore to prevent illegal migration, save lives by removing migrants from unsafe environments, and deterring dangerous illegal migrant activity,” Lt. Connor Ives, of U.S. Coast Guard District Seven, said in a statement.

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The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.