Cuban migrants rescued in joint local operation

| 03/11/2022 | 9 Comments

(CNS): Fourteen Cuban migrants who had been adrift at sea for seven days after their engine failed and who had run out of drinking water were rescued this morning in a joint operation by local agencies. Three of them were admitted to hospital. The rescue began after another migrant group that made it to Cayman Brac early Thursday morning raised the alarm.

As part of a current surge in Cuban migrants arriving in local waters, a group of three men arrived in the Brac early Thursday morning, 27 October. When they were met by police and border control officers, they explained that they had left Cuba several days previously but had passed another vessel about 55 nautical miles northeast of Cayman Brac some 18 hours earlier. They said the boat had broken down and was adrift with a large number of occupants.

As a result, a search and rescue operation was launched by the Cayman Islands Coast Guard Operations and Rescue Coordination Centre (ORCC), while the RCIPS Air Operations Unit was tasked to commence a search of the seas to the east of Cayman Brac.

The helicopter crew aboard X-Ray 2 arrived off the Brac shortly after 10:00am and began searching out towards the direction of Cuba, aided by drift analysis from the US Coast Guard. Shortly before 10:30am the crew spotted the boat about 18 nautical miles east of Cayman Brac. The crew could see there were signs of distress among some of the people on the boat and others were signalling for help, according to a police press release.

Coordinated through the ORCC, the Cayman Islands Fire Service and Customs and Border Control officers launched a boat from Cayman Brac to rescue them. They were helped by a private yacht which was nearby and ultimately assisted with transport back to Cayman Brac.

It took about two hours from the boat being spotted by the helicopter to the CIFS boat coming alongside. In the meantime, the crew of X-Ray 2 had lowered two gallons of fresh water to the Cubans and a Spanish-speaking crew member used the helicopter PA system to reassure them about the rescue efforts.

The 13 men and one woman were all taken to Cayman Brac, where those in need received medical attention, including three people who were in need of critical medical care. They are now being processed in line with the usual immigration protocols.

Following figures released by the CBC to CNS earlier this week, the arrival of these two groups brings the current tally of migrants in Cayman to 286, with over one hundred of them still on the Brac.

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Comments (9)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    You teach it.

  2. Anonymous says:

    The United Nations General Assembly has overwhelmingly voted in favor of a resolution condemning the US embargo on Cuba for the 30th year in a row. Only the US and Israel voted against the measure on Thursday, while Ukraine and Brazil abstained.

    Since 2019, the US “has escalated the siege around our country, taking it to an even crueler and more inhumane dimension, with the purpose of deliberately inflicting the biggest possible damage on Cuban families,” Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez told the assembled representatives.

    Both the Trump and Biden administrations have held up “human rights” to justify decades of economic strangulation, an argument Cuba’s deputy UN ambassador, Yuri Gala, dismissed as illogical.

    “If the United States government really did care for the well-being, human rights and self-determination of the Cuban people, it could lift the embargo,” he said, adding that Washington could lift the economic restrictions currently choking off economic opportunities for would-be capitalists.

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s a bit more nuanced than that. As with many delicate international diplomacy matters, headline-seeking MAGA-mode reset emerging cooperations with many former foes by 20 years, while oddly revering autocrats and supervillains. Punishment and reward didn’t have to make sense.

  3. Anonymous says:

    The outflow of people from Cuba will continue as long as the USA continues their Republican led opposition to normalizing relations with Cuba.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Damn ungrateful Cubans. Learn English if you want to go and live in an English speaking country.

  5. Anonymous says:

    This is (for once) something we want to read. It shouldn’t be so hard for our Christian territory to sustain empathy, humanity, and kindness, but the endurance seems short-lived and timing subjective and intermittent. We can only hope the leadership teams will see how well this plays with public and make lasting changes to their policy.

    • Anonymous says:

      The policy is to rescue anyone at sea. Thats not the policy you want changed. That other policy opens a whole other set of issues, not so clear-cut.

      • Anonymous says:

        Cubans stay in Cuba, speak your Spanish and work hard to make it a better place, dont come here and expect Caymanians to support you all.Stay home.

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