Cuban migrants, dog come ashore in Miami Beach

12 people, dog spotted on sand near Shelborne Wyndham Grand


MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – A group of Cuban migrants and a dog came ashore Tuesday in Miami Beach.

The migrants were taken into custody near the Shelborne Wyndham Grand off 17th Street in South Beach.



A Miami Beach police representative said 11 males, one female and a dog named Chiquitica traveled to South Florida on a small boat.

ON THE WEB: Watch video of the welcome migrants got on South Beach

"They seem to be in decent health and in good spirits," Tobias Max, of Aventura, said on Twitter. "They were out there for six days. (The) dog they had was really scared."

Sky 10 was above the scene shortly after noon as police roped off a lifeguard stand where the migrants were seated.

A crowd of beachgoers surrounded the lifeguard stand, watching paramedics attend to the migrants.

ON THE WEB: Watch Cuban migrants wave a U.S. flag

Some of the men spoke to reporters briefly while holding up an American flag before one of the men draped the flag over his shoulders.

One of the migrants said they left Cuba about a week ago and said the boat's engine gave out two days ago.

Carlos Rojas told Local 10 News reporter Glenna Milberg that the first call he made was to his wife and 6-year-old son. He said he and his friends risked their lives to find work that they don't have in Villa Clara.

Miami Beach sanitation workers brought a dump truck to dispose of the boat, which was made from steel drums, a tree branch and plastic.

However, with a four-hour reprieve, two women arranged to have it dismantled and saved.

"It should go to a Cuban museum," Rene Pratz said.

The migrants are now in the custody of the U.S. Border Patrol and are expected to stay in South Florida.

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