By Ted Scouten

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Some Cuban Americans in South Florida are looking for support as they stand up for their brothers and sisters on the island.

They are gathering supplies, hoping to sail their boats loaded with water, food, and medicine to Cuba.

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They’re also waiting for permission to get it ashore.

The U.S. Coast Guard has advised against taking such a trip.

“The message is do not take to the sea, especially with the risks that are out there right now,” said Key West Coast Guard Deputy Commander Richard Armstrong.

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Armstrong said his warning is clear – don’t go.

“As you know the Florida Straights can be extremely unforgiving, especially during hurricane season. Yesterday (Tuesday) we had four to six-foot seas out there and thunderstorms rolling through. It’s extremely dangerous to take to the seas,” said Armstrong.

The Coast Guard said since Memorial Day nearly 20 Cuban migrants lost their lives trying to make the dangerous voyage.

“When folks are taking to the sea, we want to make sure they understand what they’re doing because the weather can change extremely quickly and you can find yourself in a very bad situation very fast,” said Armstrong.

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While the Coast Guard is urging people not to take to the seas, it wants people to understand the rules, the laws, and especially the risks if they decide to make the journey.

Ted Scouten