Cuba Diving Instructor and Cancer Patient Who Windsurfs to Florida is Rescued in Precarious Health

This photograph of López’s departure from Cuba was published by Alaydin Cabrera, the migrant’s cousin . (Facebook)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 24 March 2022 — The Cuban Elián López Cabrera was intercepted this Wednesday by the US Coast Guard just 15 miles from Islamorada, Florida, riding a windsurf board.

“Urgent. Islamorada Station rescued a man on a windsurf board on Wednesday, approximately 15 miles south of Islamorada. He was transferred to Emergency Medical Services in a high level of care condition. He was wearing a life jacket, had a GPS and cell phones,” the Coast Guard reported on its Twitter account.

López was trying to reach the United States in hopes of receiving medical treatment, according to his relatives. The Cuban was operated on for colon cancer, they revealed to the Univisión channel.

The US Coast Guard intercepted the Cuban 15 miles from Islamorada. (@USCGSoutheast)

López was a diving instructor in Varadero for more than 27 years, according to a professional profile on networks.

Alaydin Cabrera, the migrant’s cousin, posted on social networks an image of her cousin accompanied by a message in which she asks for help after stating that he arrived dehydrated after the journey.

“His current condition is quite complex because he is the only diver in Cuba with a colostomy for life and he has no resources to survive in Cuba, where his life is becoming more and more difficult. He decided to go out to sea to seek help. If he is deported they are throwing a sick young man into the hardships of a system that cannot address his current state,” her text says.

Cabrera also published a photograph of López’s departure from Cuba.


COLLABORATE WITH OUR WORK: The 14ymedio team is committed to practicing serious journalism that reflects Cuba’s reality in all its depth. Thank you for joining us on this long journey. We invite you to continue supporting us by becoming a member of 14ymedio now. Together we can continue transforming journalism in Cuba.