83 migrants repatriated to Cuba after interdictions off South Florida coast

Video taken by the U.S. Coast Guard captured recent interdictions at sea involving migrants from Cuba.

MONROE COUNTY, Fla. – The U.S. Coast Guard repatriated 83 migrants to Cuba Saturday after recent interdictions off South Florida’s coast.

According to Coast Guard officials, a law enforcement aircrew spotted one migrant boat last Sunday afternoon about 50 miles south of Grassy Key.

Less than an hour later, the same aircrew spotted another migrant boat about 45 miles south of Grassy Key.

Coast Guard officials said a Good Samaritan notified the Coast Guard of another migrant boat around 5:30 p.m. Sunday that was about 20 miles south of the Dry Tortugas.

A good Samaritan notified Sector Key West watchstanders of this migrant vessel about 14 miles south of Duck Key, Florida, Nov. 7, 2022. The people were repatriated to Cuba on Nov. 12, 2022. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

An hour later, a Coast Guard cutter spotted a fourth migrant boat about 50 miles south of Marathon.

Monday also saw numerous interdictions at sea, as one Coast Guard crew spotted a group of migrants around 7:15 a.m. about 7 miles south of Woman Key.

An hour later, a Good Samaritan notified the Coast Guard of a migrant boat that was about 10 miles south of Lower Matecombe Key.

Then, around 10:45 a.m., another Good Samaritan reported a group of migrants about 14 miles south of Duck Key.

“Seek safe and legal routes of coming to the U.S.,” said Lt. Connor Ives, Coast Guard District Seven. “The Coast Guard, along with our partners, will continue to stop illegal migration at sea and return people to their country of origin or departure.”

Since Oct. 1, 2022, Coast Guard crews interdicted 1,702 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
  • 6,182 Cuban Migrants in Fiscal Year 2022

According to officials, “once aboard a Coast Guard cutter, all migrants receive food, water, shelter and basic medical attention.”


About the Author:

Amanda Batchelor is the Digital Executive Producer for Local10.com.