by STAFF WRITER
December 26, 2021
MIAMI, Dec. 26, CMC – The United States Coast Guard says the crew of the cutter Raymond Evan repatriated 39 Cubans to Cuba Friday following four interdictions due to “safety of life at sea concerns” off the Florida Keys.
The US Coast Guard said the cutter Mohawk’s crew notified Sector Key West watchstanders of a rustic vessel Sunday at about 7:15 a.m. (local time) about 10 miles off Stock Island, Florida.
The US Coast Guard also said that the cutter Kathleen Moore’s crew notified Sector Key West watchstanders of a rustic vessel Monday at about 8:25 a.m., about nine miles off Key West.
On Monday, a towing vessel’s crewmember notified Sector Key West watchstanders of two rustic vessels about 10:15 a.m., about 10 miles off Long Key, Florida, the US Coast Guard said.
In addition, it said a Coast Guard Air Station Miami HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircrew notified Sector Key West watchstanders of a vessel at about 12:45 p.m., about 45 miles off Big Pine Key, Florida.
“The Coast Guard maintains a robust presence in the Florida Straits, Windward Passage and Mona Passage with surface and air assets,” said Lieutenant Paul Puddington, enforcement officer, Coast Guard District Seven.
“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 activity,” he added.
Since October 1, 2021, the US Coast Guard said its crews interdicted 462 Cubans compared to: 5,396 Cuban migrants in Fiscal Year 2016; 1,468 in Fiscal Year 2017; 259 in Fiscal Year 2018; 313 in Fiscal Year 2019; 49 in Fiscal Year 2020; and 838 in Fiscal Year 2021.