Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Cubans spend week off Cayman

Cubans spend week off Cayman
By Brent Fuller,
Monday 26th November, 2007 Posted: 15:01 CIT (20:01 GMT)

A group of Cuban migrants who seemed determined to continue their
journey across the Caribbean to Honduras showed up in Cayman Brac and at
three different locations along Grand Cayman's south coast within the
past two weeks before finally shoving off at the South Sound dock on Friday.

Fifteen migrants first appeared off the Brac coast on 13 November. When
they were approached by immigration officers, five of the 15 chose to
turn themselves in to Caymanian authorities and be repatriated to their
home country.

The 10 others went on and ended up along Cayman's East End near the
Royal Reef Beach Resort on 15 November. According to resort managing
director Tom McCallum, they left the same day after getting their
make–shift boat's engine started.

The migrants were spotted the next day off Frank Sound where they
anchored to wait out rough sea conditions.

They stayed there through last Thursday. Several people were seen
bringing the migrants food, water and other supplies while they waited
off the sound. There were also complaints about the Cubans coming ashore
to use a nearby beach as a bathroom.

The 10 migrants attempted to leave Cayman on Thursday but had to be
rescued by the Royal Cayman Islands Police Marine Unit when their engine
failed. They were later escorted back to local waters and ended up in
South Sound Thursday night.

The group spent the morning at the South Sound dock. Several further
donations of food, ice, even what appeared to be an electrical cord were
made by local residents. They departed around noon, the deadline
immigration officials had set for them to either leave the island or be
taken into custody and repatriated.

It was not known by press time when the Cuban migrants had been
successful in getting out of Caymanian waters.

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