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ARCHIVE NUMBER 23288
ROUTED BY SUBJECT - POSIT
OSR-COG OPC MF RE
P KW MF NT'
KW MF MT DE D7
P 2305012 JUL 01
FM CCGDGEVEN MIAMI FL//OSR//
INFO KW/USCGC PETREL
MF/COGARD MAP MIAMI FL
MT/COGARD STA MARATHON FL
P 22140OZ JUL 91
FM CCGDSEVEN MIAMI FL//OSR//
TO COMDT COGARD WASHINGTON DC//G-T0C-1/G-OLr:,/G-0I//
INFO COMLANTAREA COGARD NEW YORK NY//AOPC//
SECSTATE WASHINGTON DC//XNM/ARA//
CCCI EAST MIAMI FL//CG-CDO//
$9 SOCC TYNDALL APB FL//DOC//
CINCLANTFLT NORFOLIK VA//CDO//
40INT STAFF WASh1NGTONDC//J-3/CNOD//
US CUSTOMS SERVICE AOCE MIAMI FL//1DIR/DRP DIR/OPS/RADAR/INTEL//
MARINCEN MIP14I FL
COGARD LO EPIC EL PASO TX
USINS Mimi FL
USINS WASHINGTON DC
USINT HAVANA CU
DODSPECONE WASHINGTON DC//ZKZX VP ANK All DE//
COGARD INTELCOORDCEN WASHINGTON DC
FOSIC DRT CINCLANTFLT NORFOLK VA
CIA WASHINGTON DC//ALA// /
COGARD AIRSTA MIAMI FL//OPS/
COMCOGARDORU KEY WEST FL//OPS//
COMCOOARDORU MIAMI FL//OPS//
COGARD AEROSTAT FOUR
COGARD AEROSTAT FIVE
UNCLAS FOUO //N16217//
SUBJ: CUBAN MILITARY P28PONSE TO CUSA14 BROTHERHOOD TO THE RESCUE
AIRCRAFT - 60 NM 99 KEY WEST - SITREP ONE AND FINAL
A. 211512Z ORIG RECEIVED REPORT FROM CUBAN BROTHERHOOD ACFT
OF 07 PERSONS ON A SMALL RAFT IN POSIT 23-46N 081-06W. AEROSTAT
FOUR WAS DIVERTED TO RESPOND ETA 1945Z. CUBAN BROTHERHOOD
REPORTED TO ORIG THEY COULD KEEP VARIOUS ACFT ON TOP OF RAFT UNTIL
SURFACE 9 PONCE ARRIVED. 15SOZ CUBAN BROTHERHOOD REPORTED THEIR
ACFT N3306 DEPARTED SCENE DUE TO CUBAN MILITARY ACFT IN THE AREA,
AND THAT MIAMI PLIGHT SERVICES HAD ADDITIONAL INFO, 1552Z ORIG
CONTACTED MIAMI FLIGHT SERVICES FLIGHT SERVICES REPORTED RECEIVING
A MSG FROM HAVANA CENTER STATING CUBAN AUTHORITIES COULD NOT
GUARANTEE SAFETY OF CUBAN BROTHERHOOD ACFT IN THE LOCATION IT WAS
OPERATING 1605Z ORIG CONTACTED MIAMI CENTER WHICH REPORTED U.$.
MILITARY ACFT HAD RESPONDED TO THE CUBAN MILITARY AIRCRAFT OUT
COULD NOT PROVIDE ADDITIONAL DETAILS. 1618Z ORIG CONFIRMED NO COAST
GUARD ACFT OPERATING IN THE AREA, 1626Z ORIG QUERIED CUBAN
BROTHERHOOD ON STATUS OF THEIR ACFT AND CONFIRMED CUBAN BROTHERHOOD
ACFT N3344 HAD RETURNED TO AREA- -JUST NORTH OF 24 DEGREES NORTH.
1634Z ORIG OBTAINED ADDITIONAL INFO FROM SOUTHEAST SOCC THAT U.S.
FIGHTER ACFT OUT OF HOM99TEAD HAD RESPONDED BUT DID NOT LOCATE
ANY CUBAN MILITARY AIRCRAFT U.S. FIGHTERS DID LOCATE THE CUBAN
BROTHERHOOD ACFT AND INFORMED IT OF THE CUBAN MILITARY LAUNCH AND
WARNING. U.S. FIGHTER ACFT REMAINED ON SCENE FOR SHORT TIME THEN
RETURNED TO BASS, 1730Z D7 BRIEFED COMDT. 1731Z D7 BRIEFED
COMLANTAREA. CUBAN BROTHERHOOD ACFT N3304 WAS REPLACED BY N5416K,
19102 AEROSTAT FOUR RECOVERED THE 07 REFUGEES WITHOUT FURTHER
BROTHERHOOD ACFT N3306 (SEA CULL ECHO) AND N5416K
(SEA GULL BRAVO).
A. 211512Z ORIG RECEIVED REPORT FROM CUBAN BROTHER9000 ACFT
REPORTING 07 PERSONS ONBOARD A SMALL RAFT. IN POSIT 23-46N 081-06W.
a, 155OZ CUBAN BROTHERHOOD ACFT N3306 DEPARTED SCENE DUE TO
CUBAN MILITARY AC FT IN THE AREA,
C. 1552Z FLIGHT SERVICES REPORT80 RECEIVING MSG FROM 14AVANA CENTER STATING CUBAN AUTHORITIES COULD NOT GUARANTEE SAFETY OF CUBAN BROTHERHOOD ACFT IN ITS CURRENT LOCATION.
D. 1605Z 0810 CONTACTED MIAMI CENTER WHICH REPORTED U.S. HAD SCRAMBLED A MILITARY AIR RESPONSE.
E. 1618Z ORIG CONFIRMED NO COAST GUARD ACFT OPERATING IN THE AREA.
G. 1034Z SOUTHEAST SOCC CONFIRMED U.S. HAD RESPONDED WITH
FIGHTER ACFT OUT *OF HOMESTEAD 'U.S. MILITARY ACFT DETERMINED NO
CUBAN MILITARY AIRCRAFT IN AREA, BUT LOCATED THE CUBAN BROTHERHOOD
ACFT AND INFORMED THEM OF THE CUBAN MILITARY LAUNCH AND WARNING.
CUBAN BROTHERHOOD AIRCRAFT REMAINED ON SCENE.
H. 1730Z D7 BRIEFED COMDT.
I, 1745Z D7 BRIEFED CAA.
191OZ AEROSTAT YOUR RECOVERED THE 07 REFUGEES WITHOUT
FURTHER INCIDENT. K. 1931Z ORIG BRIEF H)CC, REQ COMDT 13B BRIEFED.
L. 1932Z ORIG BRIEFED CAA OPC.
3. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
A. D7 WILL ADDRESS THU GOVT OF CUBA'S SENSITIVITY TO AIRCRAFT
OPERATING SOUTH OF 24 DEGREES NORTH WITH CUBAN BROTHERHOOD TO THE
4. INCIDENT CLOSED.
Initials ---------- Initials----------Initials -
Key West Citizen, Tuesday, July 23, 1991
By Vernon Silver,
Citizen Staff Writer
OVER THE FLORIDA STRAITS - "Let me warn you, "Tim Loftus said-Sunday as he and two other Brothers to the Rescue took on a passenger in Key West. "This is boring stuff."
He was wrong.
As Loftus and his friend Adalberto Lares piloted their two-propeller airplane --- from Key West, Adalberto's brother Guillermo, flyIng a similar plane 60 miles southeast of there, circled above a raft holding seven Cubans, and dropped bright grteen dye into the water to help keep the raft in view.
Guillermo Lares, radioed for a boat to pick up the rafters who would soon bring the number of Cubans who have successfully made the treacherous journey this Year to 1,378.
No one is sure how many have not made it across this 90 mile strait that separates Key West from Havana. Every Saturday, Sunday and one day during the week, Brothers to the Rescue does its part to keep that unknown number as low as possible.
The brainchild of Bay of Pigs veteran Jose Basulto, Brothers to the Rescue has been searching these Waters since May. Every week, at least a handful of the dozen or so Cubans rescued are saved with the help of Hermanos AI Rescate, as they call themselves in Spanish.
"The intent is to save lives that are otherwise lost," Basulto, 50, said, addIng that it is not the purpose of the group to encourage Cubans to leave for the United States.
Basulto, who builds homes for a living, is one of several Brothers who have given not only time, but money. Basulto said his single-engine plane costs him $55 an hour to fly. Each mission lasts about five hours.
Recently, a telethon on Spanish-language TV and radio stations in Miami raised $35,000 nearly all the organization's money It still only covers a fraction of the bills.
Sometimes former rafters join the rescue missions, and recently, someone found his brother and nephew.
The Brothers to the Rescue am not all Cuban. Miguel Espinall, 29, now of Miami, came to the States from Nicaragua in 1981, and works as a limousine driver. Guillermo, 24, and Adalberto Lares, 22, now live in Hollywood, but are originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina. Guillermo is a limousine driver and Adalberto manages a valet parking service. Each has a pilot's license.
The Brothers to the Rescue get close to, but do not enter Cuban air space. Guillermo was near the border Sunday when his brother Adalberto heard the Federal Aviation Administration radio from Miami that there was a Cuban MIG prowling near Guillermo's plane.
The scene, got frantic- Adalberto called his brother on a portable phone and told him what he had heard.
"No se si estan en peligro." -Adalberto told his brother, saying he didn't. know if the men C plane near Cuban skies were in danger.
Despite the MiG, Adalberto continued his flight plan, one of a handfull of carefully mapped routes that divide the skies among the search planes. They fly at 500 feet scanning the water all directions.
Out the right side of the front window, Tim Loftus saw something,
"Get closer.' he barked, and the plane, whipping into a tight circle, dove even closer to the water. "Hold onto my Coke.' he said. "What's that next to the seaweed?"
The others on the plane saw it too; a dark object bobbing in a string of sea growth,"
There might be someone hanging on to that thing." Lofut's said with the urgency of a lifesaver and the excitement of a swashbuckler.
All at once the tension in the tiny cockpit dropped. It turned out to be nothing and they continued their course.
"When you see it, it will be a little speck, like the point of a needle," Adalberto said of rafts. And don't take your eyes off it. -or you will lose it. It's happened before."
Then word came from GuIllermo. He never saw the MiG, but the danger now was that he didn't. have enough fuel to stay and wait for a rescue boat to arrive for the raft he had found. Guillermo gave his brother his coordinates..
"Subiendo mas alto," Adalberto said as, the plane gained altitude and he punched the coordinates or the raft into a computerized navigation aid.
Fifteen minutes later, the plane hit the coordlnates, descended, and found no raft. After a few minutes, someone spotted it. Down in the raft, the occupants flashed a mirror and waved a red shirt.
Adalberto's plane circled.
"When you first saw them you don't know what to do, Espinall said. right after seeing the raft.
"After a couple seconds you react. You know. you feet so good about it you see they're flapping and everything, and waving. They feel so happy."
About 15 minutes later, a Coast Guard Mobile Aerostat ship easily recognized by the blimp above it, appeared near the horizon.
Guillermo's plane returned and was also circling.
Eventually, the Cubans boarded the ship, and made it to Coast Guard Station Marathon, nearly six hours after were first spotted.
The Coast Guard turned them over to immegration and naturalization Service authoities who likely gave them political asylum.
That raftfull brought the total count of Cuban refugees assisted by the Coast Guard this weekend to 58.
Next weekend, the Brothers to the Rescue will return for another mission, and help people "find their liberty." as Guillermo Lares put it.