Cuban migrants rescued from water off Sands Key

2 still missing in Biscayne Bay

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – The U.S. Coast Guard rescued nine Cuban migrants clinging to a raft in the water off Sands Key as authorities continue to search for two others.

A good Samaritan spotted the group Monday morning in Biscayne Bay and called the Coast Guard.

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue said the group is believed to have been floating on a raft for about five days when it fell apart Sunday night.

Sky 10 was above the scene as three men were being pulled into a tug boat called the Eagle.

A Coast Guard helicopter lowered one of its crew members down to the tug to evaluate the men.

At least one of the men was placed on a stretcher.

One man could be seen floating on what appeared to be Styrofoam, while another man could be seen floating in an inner tube.

Five of the rescued migrants received medical treatment on a Coast Guard cutter, two were airlifted to Mercy Hospital and one was airlifted to another hospital. Two made it to shore on their own.

After searching for several hours, the Coast Guard was notified by a good Samaritan who found a person in the water. That individual was rescued and received medical attention.

Coast Guard officials and authorities continue to search for two migrants in the vicinity of Biscayne Bay. There were no women or children among the group.

The Coast Guard said the number of migrants has risen significantly in the past year. From October 2013 to October 2014, more than 3,900 Haitian migrants have taken the trip across the ocean, while more than 5,500 Cubans have attempted the trip.

Those who did not make it to shore are expected to be sent back to Cuba.

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