MIAMI — U.S. Coast Guard officials say homemade vessels recently used by Cuban migrants attempting to reach Florida shores are a "recipe for disaster."
U.S. authorities returned 55 Cuban migrants to Bahia de Cabanas, Cuba, on Thursday. Coast Guard officials say four of the five vessels carrying those migrants were homemade with no navigation or lifesaving equipment on board.
The fifth vessel was a fishing boat that was caught about 12 miles south of Key West with 18 Cuban migrants aboard.
The Coast Guard also repatriated 18 Haitian migrants Thursday, after their vessel was stopped near Palm Beach Gardens.
Coast Guard officials say their efforts to secure the U.S.-Caribbean border help prevent tragedies at sea.
Since Oct. 1, over 2,245 Haitians, 2,800 Cubans and 469 Dominicans have been captured or intercepted at sea.