Container ship saves 19 people in southern Florida Keys

Image courtesy of USCG

Posted on Jan 2, 2022 4:26 PM by

The maritime executive

Friday, the boxship Methoni rescued 19 Cuban migrants about 30 nm southeast of Alligator Reef Lighthouse, near Islamorada, Florida.

At around 1:40 p.m. Friday, the crew of the Methoni contacted the Coast Guard sector in Key West to report that they had launched their lifeboat to rescue a group of people in distress. The crew safely embarked 19 survivors. One of the rescuers told the crew that their raft had overturned, throwing all occupants into the water, and that 19 people were on board.

One person required medical treatment and the Key West sector called a helicopter crew from Air Station Miami to hoist and transfer the patient for emergency medical assistance. The survivor was evacuated to Fishermen’s Hospital in Marathon, Florida.

“We are extremely grateful for the Methoni the crew for saving everyone from the water and getting us up to speed, ”said Petty Officer 3rd Class Paul Altieri, a watchman on duty at the Key West area command center. “It’s good to know that these 19 people will be safely reunited with their families.”

Islamorada station boat crew help Methoni crew prepare survivor for medevac (USCG)

Islamorada station boat crew help Methoni crew prepare survivor for medevac (USCG)

Coastguard crew Charles Sexton embarked the 18 remaining survivors of the Methoni for treatment and repatriation.

Rescue and repatriation of migrants is an integral part of the mission unfolding in the Strait of Florida, which has long been a highway for Cuban nationals seeking opportunity and freedom in the United States. Thursday the cutter Raymond evans repatriated 33 other survivors of four separate interdiction and rescue operations carried out in a single week, including another capsizing raft south of Marathon.

the Methoni is a boxship built in 2003 with a capacity of 6,400 TEUs. As of Saturday, he was on his way again in the Gulf of Mexico, bound for Miami in Veracruz.

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