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7th District Southeast Public Affairs
U.S. Coast Guard

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News Release

December 28, 2012

Contact: 7th Coast Guard District


Office: (305) 415-6683

Coast Guard repatriates 26 Cuban migrants

MIAMI — The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Key Biscayne repatriated 26 Cuban migrants to Bahia de Cabañas, Cuba, Friday.  

The migrants were interdicted at sea during three separate incidents beginning on Dec. 24

On Dec. 24, crewmembers aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Ocracoke interdicted eight Cuban migrants aboard a rustic vessel north of Mariel, Cuba. The crewmembers safely embarked, and later transferred, the migrants to the Key Biscayne.

On the same day, the Ocracoke interdicted six more Cuban migrants aboard a rustic vessel south of Marathon, Fla, after the vessel was detected by a Coast Guard HC-144 maritime patrol aircraft. The migrants were safely embarked on the Ocracoke, and were later transferred to the Key Biscayne.

On Dec. 25, crewmembers aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Pea Island interdicted 12 Cuban migrants aboard a rustic vessel south of Key West, Fla.

“Migrants attempting to illegally enter the United States by boat often travel aboard dangerously overloaded and ill-equipped vessels," said, Capt. Brendan McPherson, 7th Coast Guard District chief of enforcement. "People aboard these vessels are putting their lives at extreme risk, so the Coast Guard with our partner agencies will continue to patrol vigilantly to rescue and repatriate undocumented migrants who take to the sea."

Once aboard a Coast Guard cutter, all migrants receive food, water, shelter and basic medical attention.

The cutter Pea Island is a 110-foot patrol boat homeported in Key West, Fla. 

The cutter Ocracoke is a 110-foot patrol boat homeported in St. Petersburg, Fla.

The cutter Key Biscayne is a 110-foot patrol boat homeported in Key West, Fla.

The Pea Island and other Island-class patrol boats are being replaced by 58 new, Sentinel-class fast response cutters (FRC). The FRC will be capable of speeds in excess of 28 knots and operating in seas up to 18-feet. The speed and stability of the FRC deliver tremendous lifesaving, law enforcement and homeland security capabilities in the same package.

For more information on how to legally immigrate to the United States, call U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) at 1-800-375-5283 or visit the USCIS website at

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