Coast Guard Interdicts Migrant Ship

The United States Coast Guard interdicted a vessel containing migrants from the Caribbean this week, sending them back to Cuba. The incident also came just weeks after separate incidents where migrants from Haiti attempted to enter the country but were sent back by the state of Florida.

The Coast Guard captured the ship made mostly of foam off the coast of Florida. The ship was attempting to enter the state near Key West from Cuba. The vessel contained 16 migrants who alerted the Coast Guard.

“The Coast Guard’s primary mission is to preserve human life at sea,” said Lt. Mathew Miller. “The maritime environment is inherently dangerous.”

So far this fiscal year the Coast Guard has encountered and sent back almost 350 illegal immigrants from Cuba.

The Coast Guard also intercepted three vessels containing 101 migrants off the coast of Puerto Rico last week. There have been more than 900 attempted migrant entries via this route during the current fiscal year.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) said last month that his administration had sent back about 14,000 migrants who attempted to enter the state since the beginning of last year.

Last month a ship carrying migrants from Haiti were intercepted by the Florida Fish and Wildlife agency, sending the 25 illegal immigrants back to the Caribbean country. Haiti has been in a state of near-anarchy since a major jailbreak earlier this year.

DeSantis said that the migrants had firearms and drugs in the ship and “were boating very recklessly, which would potentially endanger other folks.”

Like in the more recent case, the Coast Guard assisted in the deportation of the migrants.

The attempted entries also came after a series of fatal migrant boat incidents across the world, including one ship capsizing off the coast of Africa, killing 38 people. There has been a renewed effort for migrants to arrive in Europe via the Mediterranean Sea and to the United Kingdom across the English Channel.