USCG Cutter William Flores Repatriates Seven Cuban Migrants

USCG Cutter William Flores Repatriates Seven Cuban Migrants

The crew of the United States Coast Guard Cutter William Flores repatriated seven Cuban migrants to Bahia de Cabañas, Cuba, Wednesday.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Key West, Fla., received a report from a good Samaritan of a rustic vessel taking on water east of Card Sound, Fla., May 18.

Coast Guard Air Station Miami launched an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter and Coast Guard Station Islamorada launched a boatcrew to respond to the report. Station Islamorada arrived on scene and safely embarked seven Cuban migrants from the partially submerged vessel.

The migrants were then transferred to the Coast Guard Cutter William Flores for repatriation.

 “As the primary federal maritime law enforcement agency, the Coast Guard is tasked with interdicting undocumented migrants attempting to enter the U.S. illegally by sea,” said Rear Adm. William Baumgartner, Seventh Coast Guard District commander. “Migrants who travel aboard ill-equipped vessels or smuggled aboard go-fast boats are putting their lives at extreme risk. Our migrant interdiction patrols help save lives by deterring dangerous illegal migrant activity and removing migrants from unsafe environments.”

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

The Coast Guard Cutter William Flores is a 154-foot fast response cutter, homeported in Miami.

The cutter William Flores is one of the 58 New, Sentinel-class fast response cutters replacing the Island-class patrol boats. The FRC will be capable of speeds in excess of 28 knots and operating in seas up to 18-feet. The speed, stability and firepower of the FRC deliver tremendous lifesaving, law enforcement and homeland security capabilities in the same package.

Press Release, May 23, 2013; Image: USCG