US Coast Guard sends home more than 120 Haitians and Cubans intercepted at sea
FLORIDA – A total of 123 migrants – 37 Cubans and 86 from Haitians – were repatriated over the weekend after being caught in two separate boats off Cuba.
Yesterday, 29 Cuban males and eight females were taken to Cabañas, Cuba, four days after being found on an overloaded tug boat approximately 23 miles north of Havana, heading northbound .
“Many times these vessels we interdicted are overloaded and unsafe and the risk simply isn’t worth the possible reward,” said Lieutenant commander James Hodges, a Coast Guard 7th District law enforcement duty officer after they were caught.
The same day the Cubans were caught, a 40-foot overloaded sail freighter was intercepted 26 nautical miles north of Punta Maisi, Cuba, with 86 Haitians on board.
“This illegal migrant venture and vessel were ill-equipped to carry its passengers and dangerously overloaded,” said Commander Luis Rodriguez, deputy chief of enforcement. “If it had capsized before we arrived on scene, this situation could have ended differently as we have tragically seen before.”
Once aboard US Coast Guard cutters, all the migrants receive food, water, shelter and medical attention, the officials said, and were repatriated to Cap-Haïtien, Haiti, on Saturday.
Photo: 86 Haitian migrants on a 40-foot sail freighter approximately 26 nautical miles north of Punta Maisi, Cuba. (credit: Coast Guard)