Cubans rescued from sinking raft at sea

| 11/06/2015 | 9 Comments
Cayman News Service

Cubans signal for help from a sinking raft, 10 June 2015

(CNS): A group of Cuban migrants who were stranded at sea off the coast of Little Cayman yesterday were rescued by local marine police in a joint operation with the police helicopter. Two of the group of 18 have been hospitalized and the other 16 are now being held at the Immigration Detention Centre in Fairbanks. Police said the vessel they were on was in poor condition and was sunk to prevent it from posing a threat to shipping lines once the refugees were rescued.

The raft-like boat with 18 Cubans on board was spotted Wednesday morning (10 June) some 25 miles southwest of Little Cayman by the crew of the RCIPS Air Operations Unit while the helicopter was on routine offshore patrol.  Police said the boat was dead in the water and the occupants were signaling their need for urgent assistance.

“A rescue operation was launched from Grand Cayman with the Joint Marine Unit vessels, Cayman Guardian and Tornado, accompanied by immigration officers,” the RCIPS stated in a release. “Both vessels were guided to the scene by the helicopter crew, resulting in all 18 being transferred to Cayman Guardian. Three of the migrants were suffering severe dehydration and were treated initially by a Marine Unit medic.  On return to Grand Cayman, two of the three were taken to hospital for further treatment, the remaining sixteen being transferred to the Immigration Detention Centre for further investigation.”

The police added that, due to the potential danger to shipping, the make-shift Cuban boat, which was already taking on water, was sunk at the scene by the JMU staff.

Detective Superintendent Robert Scotland, head of Pro-Active Operations, said the rescue had saved the refugees lives.

“There can be no doubt that eighteen lives have been saved by the patrol strategy of our helicopter crews and timely response of the Marine Unit vessels, and working with our colleagues from the immigration department,” he added.

Cayman News Service

RCIPS vessels rescue stranded Cuban migrants, 10 June 2015

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Comments (9)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    The Cubans were not rescued they were captured Just ask thru the fence at Fairbanks
    The CIG government is sick and so are the posters whom think they did a good thing

    • Anonymous says:

      However they ended up, they were rescued. That boat was never going to make it and the weathers turned. You need a bit more respect.

  2. Just Sayin' says:

    Yet all you ever hear from the Cubans in Cayman is about how great Cuba is.

  3. Shhhhhh. says:

    Well done Air Support Unit & The Marine Unit. That’s what can happen when you are out there patrolling!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Let them stay in Cayman and make a better life for themselves.

    • Anonymous says:

      Great idea… and when word gets back to Cuba and 100,000 of their friends and relatives show up we let them stay too?

      Think before you type.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Good job, but why was this boat allowed to go on from Cayman Brac when everyone knew it was only a oil drum pontoon raft? Other much more substantial boats were not allowed to continue from Cayman Brac. Why the uneven policy?

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