MIAMI, United States. – The crew of the Coast Guard cutter Charles Sexton repatriated 41 Cubans this Tuesday, after several rescue operations in the vicinity of the Florida Keys, according to reported today the United States Coast Guard.
Last Thursday, watchmen with the Key West Coast Guard Sector were informed of the presence of a rustic vessel approximately 37 miles south of Big Pine Key.
The following day, they also received the call about two other rustic vessels about 12 miles south of Cudjoe Key and 52 miles south of Key West, respectively.
Then on Saturday, Coast Guard agents rescued another group of rafters about 17 miles south of Big Pine Key; and on Sunday to a fifth group that was about a mile south of Key West.
“The possibility of being apprehended by Coast Guard crews while illegally migrating through the Straits of Florida is extremely high,” said Lieutenant Commander Mark Cobb of the 7th Coast Guard District. “No one should risk their lives on unsafe rustic boats in unpredictable seas,” he added.
Last week, the United States Coast Guard also repatriated 77 Cuban raftersincluding three who would have crossed the Straits of Florida on a water bike, according to published images by that US agency.
The 77 Cubans had been intercepted in various operations near the Florida Keys, from last Saturday, July 9, until this Monday, according to a statement of the Coast Guard.
The number of Cuban migrants intercepted by US authorities in the last nine months already exceeds 3,000.
Since October 1, 2021, the beginning of the current fiscal year, US Coast Guard crews have intercepted 3,470 Cubans, a figure that exceeds the number of migrants from the island intercepted each fiscal year from 2017 to 2021.
According to the agency, the statistics have behaved as follows: 5,396 Cubans intercepted in fiscal year 2016; 1,468 in 2017; 259 in 2018; 313 in 2019; 49 in 2020 and 838 in 2021.
“Once aboard a Coast Guard patrol boat, all migrants receive food, water, shelter and basic medical attention,” the Coast Guard has indicated on other occasions.
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