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The Coast Guard on Tuesday repatriated 55 Cuban citizens found in makeshift boats off the coast of Florida, authorities said.
The Cubans were discovered during six multi-day bans last week. The first occurred on May 9 when a rustic, inflatable vessel was found around 2 p.m. 14 miles south of Cay Sal, Bahamas.
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Several other discoveries were made May 12 and 13 near Key West, Florida and in the Caribbean, the Coast Guard said.
“Illegally crossing the unpredictable Florida Strait in rustic makeshift vessels is very dangerous and can result in loss of life,” said Lt. Cmdr. Mark Cobb, a Coast Guard District Seven law enforcement officer. “Encourage your loved ones to migrate legally, it’s safer.”
All migrants received basic food, water and medical care on board Coast Guard vessels.
Coast Guard crews are seeing more Cubans making the dangerous journey to the United States via makeshift ships than in the past.
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Since Oct. 1, crews had intercepted 1,789 Cubans, down from 838 in fiscal year 2021 and 49 for all of fiscal year 2020.