Three persons seeking political asylum from a Cuban freighter were thwarted in their attempt to reach the United States mainland off the coast of Virginia (SE USA), Tuesday (February 27).
MS Map locating incident
LS Cuban ship "The 26 de Julio"
LS U.S. Coast Guard cutter
MS Both vessels
MS-3 shots Cuban Ship
MS-2 shots Lifeboat gear
MS Lifeboat & Cuban ship
MS Cuban ship
MS Helicopter overhead
LS Cuban ship
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Background: Three persons seeking political asylum from a Cuban freighter were thwarted in their attempt to reach the United States mainland off the coast of Virginia (SE USA), Tuesday (February 27).
US Coast Guard officials say three persons aboard the Cuban freighter "26 de Julio," radioed for assistance in seeking asylum in the U.S. As a Coast Guard cutter and tugboat rendezvoused with the Cuban vessel, three men were lowered in a life boat. As they attempted to row to the Coast Guard cutter, the "26 de Julio" proceeded to ram the row boat.
The commander of the Coast Guard cutter, Boatswain's ship Mate P.W. Caviness, said he did not interfere with the Cuban ship because it was in international waters and he feared provoking an international incident.
Caviness said that after the life boat was rammed for the third time, the three men were not seen again. Later however, the captain of the "26 de Julio", Ricardo Puri, through an interpreter, said the men in the lifeboat had been taken back aboard the ship.
The Coast Guard searched the waters for 25 minutes but found no trace of the three men.