Related video above: Crowded migrant boat intercepted off South Florida, report says
MIAMI, Fla. (WFLA) – The Coast Guard transported 64 people to Cuba on Sunday after crews were made aware of three different migrant vessels off the coast of Florida last week.
According to the Florida Coast Guard, the first vessel was located about 32 miles south of Key West around 10 p.m. on Tuesday. Officials said the boat was spotted by a good Samaritan, who alerted Sector Key West watchstanders.
On Wednesday, watchstanders were notified once again about a vessel that was spotted around noon about 26 miles south of Key West.
Just a few hours later, around 3:30 p.m., Coast Guard Air Station Miami HC-144 aircrew notified watchstanders of yet another migrant boat about 72 miles south of Key West.
“Our Homeland Security Task Force – Southeast partners are patrolling our maritime boarders and approaches 24/7 by land, air and sea to save lives and to prevent illegal crossings,” Lt. Cmdr. John Beal, Coast Guard District Seven said in a statement. “Anyone attempting to enter the U.S. illegally by sea will be rescued and repatriated and those who land will be apprehended and processed for removal.”
Officials stated once everyone was aboard the Coast Guard cutter, they received food, water, shelter, and basic medical attention.
According to Coast Guard, crews have interdicted 6,202 Cubans since Oct. 1, 2022.