POMPANO BEACH, Fla. – Broward Sheriff's Office deputies had 13 migrants in custody after they came ashore Wednesday afternoon in Pompano Beach.
Homeland Security officials are investigating the incident as a suspected smuggling operation.
Witnesses notified authorities after they noticed an overloaded 25-foot boat coming in too quickly from the ofshore off the Hillsboro Inlet.
"They were so bow-heavy I thought they were sinking," Anthony Dipilato, a Florida Sailfish Fishing Charter captain, told Local 10 News.
Dipalato said some of the migrants jumped off into the water, swam ashore and ran into the surrounding area of a condominium building in the neighborhood. Deputies searched the area.
Pompano Beach Fire Rescue personnel took a migrant woman away in an ambulance.
The rest of the migrants, some of whom had luggage, were in custody of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and were at a detention facility. A witness said he thinks he heard the migrants speaking in Creole.
Authorities later confirmed the migrants were from a total of five countries. Below is a breakdown of the countries from where the migrants originated.
- 4 - Jamaica
- 3 - Haiti
- 3 - Turkey
- 2 - Sierra Leone
- 1 - Bahamas