Coast Guard crews rescued 28 people from a struggling Cuban migrant vessel, some on the boat and some in the water, off Key West and were searching Tuesday for one missing passenger.
The agency said Tuesday it had responded to the report of a makeshift, steel-hulled craft apparently disabled in heavy seas about six miles off the coast after a civilian boater reported seeing people in the water around 8:40 p.m. It turned out to have been carrying 29 people and crews rescued 18 people from the water and 10 from the boat, according to a press release.
Two people from the boat needed medical treatment and were taken to the hospital. Because they were caught at sea, the migrants will be returned to Cuba.
The Coast Guard released a video showing one of its patrol boat crews trying to get people off the migrant vessel in rough seas and high winds of up to 20 knots.
Coast Guard airplane and boat crews are expected to continue searching for the missing person throughout the day.
“Coast Guard crews will continue to search for this person until all efforts are exhausted,” Capt. Jason Ingram, commander, Sector Key West, said in a statement. “Taking to the sea in dangerous weather and unseaworthy vessels greatly increases the risk for loss of life. Don’t take to the sea. Use safe and legal means of immigrating to the U.S.”
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