Cubans rescued as vessel hits East End reef

| 15/04/2017 | 20 Comments
Cayman News Service

Cuban migrants rescued 13 April 2017

(CNS): Twenty-nine Cuban migrants swam ashore to safety on Thursday night after their boat was stranded on a reef in East End but the Joint Marine Unit had to rescue two who were unable to swim. Members of the public called 911 at around 9:23pm after they heard the cries for help coming from the Cubans, who had run aground in the rough seas. The marine rescue vessel, Typhoon, and the police helicopter were deployed to help the two who were in distress and found clinging to one of the channel markers.

They were taken on board the police boat, where there were helped by uniform officers and staff from the Morritts Tortuga. They were given medical attention before being handed over to immigration officers who also responded to the emergency call.

“They were very fortunate, as the sea was rough and the currents were strong,” said Inspector Leo Anglin of the Joint Marine Unit. “The operation at night was an additional concern. We are relieved that we were able to reach them in time.”

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Comments (20)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Just send them home, safe and sound.

  2. JMills says:

    I was there last week and witnessed the rescue. Although the water was shallow (4-5 feet) we were told by refugees that the ones who were rescued could not swim. Winds were about 10-15 knots and waves created a bit deeper water. Refugees were calm and disappointed they did not reach Honduras, from where they would not necessarily be deported. We were told that refugees would be returned (and likely punished upon return). For some, this was not their first attempt at freedom. I guess things in Cuba are not good enough for citizens to stay. This group was without power about half their journey (about 11-13 days total journey). They had two automotive engines, but could not get them operational after about the sixth day. The entire event was surreal. It took the rescue boat and chopper at least 90 minutes to get the stranded off the channel marker (the red marker, for those of you counting). Boat was not seaworthy when it arrived and likely not much better before it left the homeland. Bet there aren’t a lot of people who vacation at the Wyndham who see something like this! As I looked at the refugees, I realized that neither of us will be able to comprehend the other’s definition of normalcy and standard of living.

  3. Pecka says:

    Clearly from the Flir pictures you can see the bottom which indicates just how shallow the depth is there.Which cast some shadow on this epic and dramatic rescue by the JMU yes current and seas soooo rough they could swim to the channel markers come on now! Nice try old buddie.

    • Shadow says:

      First of all it is shallow but gets deep quickly. Second of all East End was rough for several days and still a bit choppy. Don’t undermine the actions of the people who took a risk to assist.

    • Anonymous says:

      Clearly you have some history with the marine unit given all your terminology. Get your facts straight , Flir thermal imagery picks up the surface only, not the depth. Now get back on your sofa where you probably were Thursday night when these guys were rescuing two non swimmers in whatever depth.

    • Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. says:

      The usual negativity! What’s new?

  4. Anonymous says:

    If only Cuba had oil, then the US might do something about their dictator problem.

  5. Lover of Law abiding ones says:

    thanks to all involved.

  6. K Bush AB- says:

    Operational at night and additional concern the old DTF marine guys did rescue in hurricane conditions and pitch of night without all the high tech gear the JMU has what a load of hogwash

  7. Quite Professional says:

    Epic rescue by the JMU in 5 feet of water mann talk about sensational self promotion everybody knows you can walk to shore from both sides of that channel. Shallow water navy strikes again Although it is welcome change from the two previous incidents where the JMU Rough Up 27 refugees including women and children and officials cover it up and refusing to rescue a Cuban vessel sinking off Southsound causing one Cuban to drown because the “seas were too rough” I wonder if the ever thank the Surfers who did rescue the other Cubans. Probably not they would want any light shed on that incident. No investigation or Coroner’s Inquest either.

  8. Linda says:

    Great job! Thanks to RCIPS.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I have just received an email from a Cuban friend. She is saying that things are improving, though slowly.

  10. Shadow says:

    Every life has value. Thank God they were rescued.

  11. Anonymous says:

    I hope they won’t be given status, otherwise cayman will be swamped with cubians, for more and more will be coming.

    • Anonymous says:

      Give them status? No way. I hope not now either. In fact, we should not be aiding these Cubans who wash up on our shores as to deter future refugees from coming. Turn a blind eye.

      • Jennie Sanchez says:

        this is bullshit. they need to stop holding the Cubans up here in Cayman and leave them and make them continue their journey ! but in this case congrats to everyone who assisted and I agree shadow every life has a value .

        They don’t need to hoarder them up here, but leave them make them continue their journey 🙂

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