13 de Marzo Incident

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On July 13, 1994, seventy-two Cubans attempted to leave the island of Cuba on the 13 de Marzo, a World War II era tugboat from the suburb of Regla in Havana. The Cuban group, consisting of men, women and children had decided to leave their home country for the United States. Cuban authorities were aware of the plan, however, and sent one government boat to intercept them. According to some of the survivors, when the 72 tried to escape, the authorities began to spray water at the tugboat. Two more boats surrounded them and started to circle around, ramming the 13 de Marzo until it began to sink.

After forty minutes a Cuban Coast Guard vessel picked up the 31 survivors and took them back to Havana.

Out of the 72 passengers on the 13 de Marzo, 41 drowned, 10 of them children.

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