Coast Guard catches 23 Cuban migrants headed to Florida and sends them back home

The US Coast Guard intercepted two separate boats packed with Cuban migrants trying to set foot in Florida and sent all of them packing back home, authorities said Tuesday.

In both cases, the migrants were packed into tiny vessels ill-suited for the high seas.

“Under Title 8, migrants who arrive without authorization will be repatriated and deemed ineligible for legal immigration pathways,” Coast Guard Lt. J.G. Nicholas Fujimoto said in a statement.

“Do not risk your life only to be sent back,” he said. “Don’t take to the sea.”

Coast Guard intercepts Cuban migrants.
The US Coast Guard nabbed 23 Cubans trying to reach Florida in rickety boats over the weekend, sending them home. U.S. Coast Guard

The first boat was spotted about 12 miles south of the Marquesas Keys near Key West on Friday, with 15 Cubans packed into a boat, the Coast Guard reported.

Those migrants were picked up by the Coast Guard Cutter Paul Clark.

On Sunday, authorities in Key West were tipped off by a good Samaritan that another ship with migrants was in the ocean about 26 miles south of Marathon, a city in the Florida Keys.

The Coast Guard Cutter Valiant plucked eight Cubans from that boat and sent them home.

Migrants fleeing the socialist island nation continue to brave the treacherous seas passage between Cuba and the US and are typically intercepted by the Coast Guard.

Last month, the maritime enforcement agency intercepted 16 Cubans trying to reach American soil in a rickety homemade boat that was barely sea-worthy.

Coast Guard cutter on the high seas.
The US Coast Guard has regularly intercepted Cubans fleeing the socialist island and trying to reach US soil. U.S. Coast Guard Pacific Area

Two weeks later, it was a Carnival Cruise ship that did the job.

Carnival Paradise had just set sail from Tampa when it spotted 27 Cubans in high-seas distress about 20 miles off the coast of their native country and pulled them to safety.

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