Americas

November 2, 2012

U.S. repatriates 32 Cubans pulled from sea south of the Keys

The Coast Guard picked up the boaters in two batches, on Oct. 18 and 20, and returned them to Bahia de Cabañas on Thursday

The United States has intercepted another 32 Cubans at sea trying to reach South Florida in crude boats and on Thursday returned them to the island at Bahia de Cabañas, the Coast Guard announced Friday.

The cruise ship Disney Magic spotted a dozen of the migrants southwest of Key West on Oct. 18 in a “15-foot rustic vessel,” the Coast Guard said.

A cutter, the Decisive, picked them up.

Two days later, a Coast Guard patrol plane out of Miami spotted another 20 Cubans south of Marathon — and dispatched the Cutter Kodiak Island to retrieve them.

The Coast Guard provided no ages or additional information on the Cuban migrants in its disclosure of the repatriation.

But it issued a stern warning that their activities were both illegal and dangerous.

“The Coast Guard and our partner agencies will continue to patrol vigilantly to rescue and repatriate undocumented migrants who take to the sea,” the chief of law enforcement in the Miami area, Coast Guard Capt. Brendan McPherson said in a statement.

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