The Star (Jamaica)

US Coast Guard rescues nine Cubans at sea

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The US Coast Guard said its crews have rescued nine Cubans, who were safely transferre­d to Cuban authoritie­s. It’s reported that a Coast Guard Air Station Miami HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircrew spotted and notified Coast Guard Sector Key West watchstand­ers of a rustic vessel on Sunday, about 54 miles southwest of Marquesas Keys.

Coast Guard Cutter Charles David Jr’s crew arrived on scene and brought the migrants aboard, due to the vessel actively sinking and safety-of-life-at-sea concerns, the US Coast Guard said.

“The vessel was later sunk as a hazard to navigation,” it said. “No injuries or significan­t medical concerns were reported among the migrants.”

The US Coast Guard said it routinely returns persons interdicte­d at sea aboard unseaworth­y vessels to their country of origin to prevent the loss of life at sea.

“Coast Guard crews patrol the Florida Straits, Windward Passage and the Mona Passage, maintainin­g a solid presence with air and sea assets to save lives by removing migrants from unsafe environmen­ts and deterring dangerous illegal migrant activity” said Captain Shawn Koch, Coast Guard Air Station Miami commanding officer.

“Coast Guard crews provide humanitari­an aid, including food, water, blankets and medical care to migrants while they are in US custody,” he added.

Since October 1, 2020, the US Coast Guard said crews have rescued 838 Cubans.

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