NEWS

Dry Tortugas National Park in Florida Keys closes after hundreds of migrants arrive

Dry Tortugas National Park announced it would close on Monday after operations at the park were shut down following the landing of multiple migrants across the region in the past few days.

“While law enforcement and medical personnel assess, provide care, and coordinate transportation to Key West for approximately 300 migrants who have arrived at the park in the past few days,” the park said in a statement. Public access is temporarily closed.”

A U.S. Coast Guard spokesperson did not confirm whether the national park’s estimate of the number of migrants who arrived was accurate, but the Homeland Security Task Force has now rescued several migrants from an uninhabited island in the park. I said that I am

The historic parade ground at Fort Jefferson in Dry Tortugas National Park is 70 miles west of Key West, Florida.

National Park Service

“The Homeland Security Task Force – Southeast is aware of multiple migrant landfalls in Dry Tortugas National Park and the Marquesas this weekend. , and local components are currently coordinating efforts to recover individuals stranded on remote, uninhabited islands,” said Commander, 7th Coast Guard Division and director of the Homeland Security Task Force. Maj. Gen. Brendan C. McPherson said in a statement.

Dry Tortugas National Park is a 100-square-mile park located 70 miles west of Key West, Florida and accessible only by boat or seaplane. It consists of 7 small islands.

Photo: A teleplane near the Fort Jefferson lighthouse on Garden Key in Dry Tortugas National Park, 70 miles west of Key West, Florida.

A teleplane near the Fort Jefferson lighthouse on Garden Key in Dry Tortugas National Park, 70 miles west of Key West, Florida.

National Park Service

A statement issued by the park said the closure “is expected to last for several days.”

“Like elsewhere in the Florida Keys, the park has recently seen an increase in people arriving by boat from Cuba and landing on the islands of Dry Tortugas National Park. We will provide food, water and basic medical care until the Ministry of Health arrives and takes the initiative,” the statement said.

Photo: Aerial view of Dry Tortugas National Park, 70 miles west of Key West, Florida.

Aerial view of Dry Tortugas National Park, 70 miles west of Key West, Florida.

National Park Service

Migrants are given food and first aid and are first transferred to federal law enforcement in the Keys. Major General McPherson said.

“From there, they are transported for processing by regional U.S. Border Protection agencies to determine their legal status to remain in the U.S. or processed for removal and repatriation to their countries of origin. Maritime movements are always dangerous, very dangerous, often deadly, don’t take them out to sea,” he said.

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