Get the best experience and stay connected to your community with our Spectrum News app. Learn More
Continue in Browser
ST. PETERSBURG – Over the summer two destabilizing events happened in countries neighboring Florida and have caused the Coast Guard’s Southeast District to respond almost on a weekly basis in water rescues.
#DontTakeToTheSea @USCG Cutter Charles Sexton’s crew repatriated 9 Cubans to #Cuba, Wednesday, due to #SOLAS concerns following 2 interdictions off #LongKey and #KeyWest. Families searching for info about loved ones should contact their local U.S. representative or embassy. pic.twitter.com/C7QO38j7Fa
Uprisings of the Cuban people protesting for freedom in July and the assassination of the Haitian president in August are the catalyst for the migrations over water.
Both island nations have strong ties with communities in Florida.
When the events happened the Coast Guard ramped up patrolling of the waters off the Florida Straits looking for migrants fleeing their countries in turmoil.
In that time we saw more and more people trying to get in to the United States.
The latest is an operation over the Christmas weekend where officials detained 25 Cuban migrants smuggled by boat to Key West.
The week before Coast Guard repatriated 39 Cubans on December 20th.
#DontTakeToTheSeas @USCG Cutter Raymond Evan’s crew repatriated 30 people to Cuba, Tues., following 3 interdictions due to #SOLAS concerns. @CBPAMO flight & boat crews helped prevent people from losing their lives in 2 of these dangerous attempts.
More: https://t.co/9VsjulYHQN pic.twitter.com/LOuyIBdS86
On the 17th, Coast Guard repatriated 18 migrants to Cuba.
On the 9th, 30 Cubans were repatriated and another 51 repatriated on the 5 resulting in every week in December in a water rescue.
In September, more than a month after the Cuban unrest–Coast Guard sent a tweet telling migrants #DontTaketoTheSea.
#DontTaketoTheSea #CoastGuard Cutter Isaac Mayo’s crew repatriated 2 Cubans to #Cuba Wednesday after they were interdicted approx. 15 miles northwest of Elbow Cay, #Bahamas. 3 of the migrants were medevaced.
Since Oct. 1, 2020, @USCG crews interdicted 729 Cubans.@USBPChiefMIP pic.twitter.com/3YLshG0J5Y
They included an estimate of 729 Cubans interdicted since Oct. 1, 2020.
That was the total last year over 12 months.
Since that tweet in September–in just four months of 2021—a rough estimate of what’s publicly available on twitter–Coast Guard has repatriated almost 500 Cubans.
For Haitians fleeing their island, Coast Guard tweeted in September about 398 Haitian migrants had been interdicted since Oct, 1, 2020.
#DontTaketoTheSea @USCG Cutter William Flores’ crew transferred 15 Haitian migrants to Bahamian authorities and one smuggler was detained, Wednesday.
Since Oct, 1, 2020, #CoastGuard crews have interdicted 398 Haitian migrants.
More here https://t.co/AFyZWqRjC7 pic.twitter.com/kVaSKRuXXr
A couple of weeks after that tweet, Coast Guard rescued and repatriated 260 Haitians.
#Breaking @USCG Cutter Resolute repatriated 260 Haitians to #Haiti Fri. after 2 at-sea interdictions. We return those interdicted on unsafe boats to their country of origin to prevent the loss of life.
Read more: https://t.co/WkbOWxIZzs @USEmbassyHaiti @DHSgov #DontTakeToTheSeas pic.twitter.com/cUfITUqL1b
A week later, there were 202 Haitians rescued at sea and subsequently 199 Haitians repatriated a few days later.
#DontTaketoTheSeas @USCG crews rescued 202 Haitians, Tue., about 20 miles northwest of Cap Du Mole, Haiti & they were safely transferred to Haitian authorities, Thu. #USCG Cutter DIligence’s crew brought the migrants aboard the cutter due to safety of life at sea concerns.@DHSgov pic.twitter.com/u1AqnGYSK5
The trend continued through the fall with estimates surpassing the total number posted from last year.