Coast Guard Officials Intercept 16 Migrants on Homemade Boat, Send Them Back to Cuba

U.S. Coast Guard
U.S. Coast Guard

United States Coast Guard officials intercepted 16 migrants traveling on what looked like a homemade boat and repatriated them back to Cuba.

The migrants were spotted by a good Samaritan off the coast of Key West, Florida, around 9:30 a.m. on April 7, according to a press release from the Coast Guard. After spotting the migrants, officials from Sector Key West were notified of a “suspected migrant voyage.”

In an effort to “detect and deter migrants from attempting to unlawfully enter the U.S. by sea,” the Coast Guard and “its Homeland Security Task Force — Southeast (HSTF-SE) partners” would continue to patrol and have a “presence” in the air and waters, the press release continued.

“The Coast Guard’s primary mission is to preserve human life at sea,” Lt. Matthew Miller with the Coast Guard’s Seventh District said in the press release. “The maritime environment is inherently dangerous. The Coast Guard and our HSTF-SE partners are committed to preventing unsafe voyages at sea and enforcing U.S. immigration laws and regulations. Do not take to the sea.”

The crew of the Coast Guard’s Cutter Charles David Jr. responded and took the migrants aboard. Once aboard the cutter, “all migrants” were provided with “food, water, shelter, and basic medical attention.”

Cutters are Coast Guard vessels that are 65 feet or longer and contain “accommodations for a crew to live aboard,” according to the Coast Guard’s website.

The press release comes a week after the Coast Guard revealed that 101 migrants had been repatriated back to the Dominican Republic after three separate interceptions near Puerto Rico.

Since the start of the 2024 fiscal year on October 1, the Coast Guard has repatriated 348 migrants back to Cuba, according to the press release.


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.