The U.S. Coast Guard interdicted five Cuban migrants on Friday, approximately 55 miles southwest of Marathon.
A Coast Guard Air Station Miami HC-144 Ocean Sentry airplane crew spotted the small vessel with five people aboard and watchstanders launched a Coast Guard Sector Islamorada 45-foot Response Boat and an Air Station Miami MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew.
The Station Islamorada crew safely embarked the five Cuban males and destroyed the vessel as a hazard to navigation.
The migrants were transferred to the Coast Guard Cutter Kathleen Moore (WPC-1109) and repatriated to Cabanas, Cuba.
“Those who are interdicted at sea attempting to illegally immigrate will be repatriated to their country in accordance with existing U.S. immigration policy," said Chief Warrant Officer Scott Goss, commanding officer of Station Islamorada. "Migrant interdiction operations save lives. The sea conditions can change in an instant and can be unforgiving to the ill-equipped craft that are often used for these voyages.”