June proves busy month for migrants
Posted-Friday, June 24, 2005 7:23 PM EDT
The Coast Guard cutters Padre and Decisive repatriated 97 Cuban migrants to Bahia de Cabanas, Cuba, on Friday.
The migrants were interdicted in eight separate incidents since June 16 when a group of eight were located by a boater 55 miles south of Key West and a group of seven were rescued from a raft by the cutter Tahoma.
During a 24-hour period June 17-18, there were 73 migrants interdicted in a joint effort by the cutters Matagorda, Decisive, Coast Guard HH-65 rescue helicopters and HU-25 Falcon jets from Air Station Miami, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection air assets from Miami’s Air Marine branch in Homestead.
The cutter Chandeleur also transferred two others to U.S. homeland security officials in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba for further processing.
For June, the Coast Guard logged rescues of 233 Cuban migrants attempting to enter the United States illegally, bringing this year’s total to 1,110.
The cutters Matagorda and Padre are 123-foot patrol boats based in Key West. The cutter Tahoma is a 270-foot medium endurance cutter from Portsmouth, N.H. The cutter Decisive is a 210-foot medium endurance cutter from Pascagoula, Miss. And the cutter Chandeleur is a 110-foot patrol boat from Miami Beach.
After changes following 9-11, the Coast Guard is now part of the Department of Homeland Security