A Cuban chug carrying 29 migrants was intercepted by a Coast Guard crew roughly 25 miles offshore from Islamorada on Saturday afternoon.
A boat fishing in the Coast Guard’s Dolphin Rodeo witnessed the vessel and called Coast Guard Station Islamorada. A Coast Guard vessel arrived to intercept the handmade boat.
The 29 migrants aboard the chug and 48 others journeying from Cuba to the U.S. by sea were repatriated by the Coast Guard Cutter Paul Clark on July 13, the Coast Guard said. While aboard a cutter, migrants receive food, water, shelter and basic medical attention. While aboard a cutter, migrants receive food, water, shelter and basic medical attention.
Saturday’s interception is one of many seen off the Florida Keys shores in the past week. On Friday, the Coast Guard announced that Cutter Pablo Valent’s crew repatriated 74 Cubans to Cuba on Friday following several interdictions off the coasts of the Florida Keys. Interdictions were made off the waters of Marathon, Key West and Marquesas Key.
On July 7, Coast Guard Cutter Isaac Mayo’s crew repatriated 32 Cubans to Cuba following one interdiction off the coast of Mexico and two off the shores of Long Key and Marathon.
“Families and friends, please encourage loved ones to seek a safe and legal path to the United States,” said Lt. Cmdr. Mario Gil, Coast Guard District Seven. “Migrating illegally in vessels without life jackets or safety equipment raises the risk of losing your life at sea.”
Since Oct. 1, 2021, Coast Guard crews interdicted 3,369 Cubans compared to 838 the year before.