KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. – Federal authorities are releasing more information, a day after nine Cuban migrants arrived to Key Biscayne on a boat made from a dump truck.
Local 10 News reporter Liane Morejon also spoke to one of the migrants, Rene Morales Jorge.
Jorge, 53, said there were originally supposed to be 14 people on board the boat, including two men who made the boat. But he said they were too scared to make the voyage across the Florida Straits.
Jorge said he was actually the odd man out of the group and did not know the others who were all family or friends. He said he had knowledge of the sea and the group approached him, asking if he had any desire to leave the island. Jorge accepted.
Jorge worked as a handyman in Cuba and said there was no future in that. He said his children are grown and he wanted to leave Cuba to be able to provide for them now.
Jorge has no family in South Florida but does have a friend in Miami who picked him up after he was processed by Border Patrol.
Border Patrol officials told Local 10 News that the nine men departed Camaguey, Cuba on Sept. 13.
They arrived to Key Biscayne on Tuesday afternoon in the area of East Mashta Drive and Ocean Drive.
Jorge said he used only a compass and world atlas to find his way to Florida.
Authorities said all of the men were in good health and did not seem to have any criminal backgrounds.
It took Border Patrol several hours to process the migrants before they were released to the immigration and refugee program, Church World Service.
Key Biscayne police removed the boat on Tuesday and said it will be destroyed.
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