The collision between a vessel of the Border Guard Troops of the Cuban Ministry of the Interior (MININT) and a speedboat that was involved in an illegal exit left one person dead, according to official media on the island.
The incident occurred this Tuesday, March 1, in the afternoon after the Border Guard Troops detected a speedboat near the north coast of Cayo Coco, Ciego de Ávila. The speedboat later picked up about twenty people, after which it headed northwest, according to a MININT note published by the official Cubadebate website.
According to the statement, a surface unit of the Border Guard Troops managed to reach it, 11 miles from Cayo Coco and within Cuban territorial waters, where the boat stopped due to apparent technical problems.
Según una nota informativa del Ministerio del Interior en horas de la tarde del día 1º de marzo de 2022 las tropas guardafronteras detectaron una lancha rápida que se aproximó a la costa norte de Cayo Coco, Ciego d Ávila. pic.twitter.com/a6c7O4ggks
— Agencia Cubana de Noticias (@ACN_Cuba) March 3, 2022
At that moment, and according to the text, the passengers began to jump into the water, so the middle crew of the Border Guards undertook rescue actions. Meanwhile, the speedboat resumed the journey and the Cuban vessel began a chase.
During the subsequent maritime maneuvers, the speedboat and the Border Guard vessel, both of similar size, collided. As a result, three people who remained on board the first boat suffered injuries, one of them serious. This person died on the way to evacuation to land, the source specified.
Through this operation, 21 illegal emigrants were rescued at sea, four women and 17 men.
According to information from the MININT, exchanges were carried out in real time with the Coast Guard Service liaison based at the United States Embassy in Havana, complying with the existing cooperation protocols with the area’s counterparts.
In recent weeks there has been an increase in acts involving the use of violence by international human traffickers, endangering the physical integrity of both illegal immigrants and combatants of that agency, recalls the MININT.
In the statement, this agency regrets the event and points to it as a consequence of “the hostile and irresponsible policy of the United States government against Cuba, which favors the impunity of traffickers who operate from that territory and encourages illegal migration from the largest of the Caribbean islands.”