DAINIA BEACH, Fla. – The state of desperation is such that Cuban pregnant women ventured the high seas in a crowded makeshift vessel in an attempt to get to the United States, deputies said.
The Martin County Sheriff’s Office released a video on Monday showing the raft — with the two pregnant women and six men — took on a large wave and capsized on Sunday near Port Saint Lucie.
MCSO’s Air1 crew found the migrants just south of Waveland Beach. A team of civilians and St. Lucie County deputies and Fire Rescue personnel rescued them and brought them to shore.
The migrants told deputies they were from Cuba, and they had been at sea for more than 16 days. Fire Rescue personnel took them to local hospitals and they were all in stable condition, according to MCSO.
Federal authorities have already stopped more Cuban migrants this 2020-2021 fiscal year, which started in October, than during the entire 2019-2020 fiscal year.
On Saturday, the U.S. Coast Guard rescued five men about two miles southeast of the Lake Worth Inlet. The migrants told the Coast Guard it had been 16 days since they had left Cuba.
On Friday, U.S. Customs and Border Protection detained 13 Haitian migrants and a suspected U.S. smuggler in Dania Beach. Witnesses saw them running out of two boats.
On Feb. 12, the U.S. Coast Guard searched to no avail for two groups of migrants who had vanished at sea. A group of 10 disappeared near the Florida Keys and a group of six off Fort Pierce.
A survivor told a Coast Guard crew who rescued him earlier this month that he spent two days in the water after a boat capsized and the six other migrants who were traveling with him vanished.
That ship had sailed out of the Bahamas. The Coast Guard found a vessel made out of Styrofoam blocks and wood that a group of Cuban migrants sailed out of Havana.
Authorities’ reports on social media
#Yesterday @USCG Station Lake Worth Inlet rescued 5 males aboard a small man-made raft, due to safety of life at sea concerns, 2 miles SE of Lake Worth Inlet. The men stated they had been at sea for 16 days since leaving Cuba.#SafetyFirst #SectorMiami #USCG #Ready pic.twitter.com/qqrAtlPU9A— USCGSoutheast (@USCGSoutheast) February 21, 2021
#EarlierToday @USCG Cutter Raymond Evans's crew repatriated 7 Cubans to Cuba after Coast Guard Cutter Richard Etheridge’s crew stopped their sea voyage due to safety of life at sea concerns. #USCG #D7 #SectorMiami— USCGSoutheast (@USCGSoutheast) February 19, 2021
More here https://t.co/pCZ6DzfHES pic.twitter.com/PWZ4FeQ7lz
#EarlierToday @USCG Cutter Charles Sexton's crew repatriated 2 Cubans to Cuba after stopping their sea voyage due to safety of life at sea concerns. A good Sam reported 2 men waving their arms in a 4-foot vessel without a motor, Sat, off Key West.— USCGSoutheast (@USCGSoutheast) February 18, 2021
More https://t.co/93Q60PdpU5 pic.twitter.com/DvYFERh2Ce