Relatives anxiously wait to find out whether loved ones are among survivors after boat capsizes

KEY WEST, Fla. – As the search continues for 10 more missing people after a boat that sailed out of Cuba capsized Wednesday night, relatives say they are just hopeful that their loved ones were among the eight people who were rescued Thursday by the U.S. Coast Guard.

“It isn’t easy,” Neovys Morales said in Spanish. “You don’t know if your son has drowned or is alive. You just don’t know.”

Morales spoke to Local 10 News reporter Roy Ramos from Miami and said her family lives in Puerto de Mariel, Cuba.

Morales said her friend is worried for her son, Michael Martinez, who she said was one of 20 people who set sail from the town Sunday night, traveling north with hope of reaching Florida.

Michael Martinez's mother worries about the fate of her son after he was among 20 people who boarded a raft in Cuba to head to Florida. (WPLG)

But the journey would hit a devastating end when their raft would capsize 16 miles southwest of Key West.

“His mother is in Cuba frantic because while she knows there are some people who have been rescued, she doesn’t know if her son was one of them,” Morales said.

Morales’ cousin, Adrian Corcho, 34, was also among the group of Cuban refugees.

The concern now is are their loved ones still alive?

“They are young men -- late 20s, early 30s,” Morales said.

Adrian Corcho, 34, was among a group of Cuban refugees whose boat capsized as they were heading toward Florida. (WPLG)

The U.S. Coast Guard is continuing their search out of their Key West station for 10 missing people after officials said eight were rescued Thursday night and two bodies were pulled from the water.

Coast Guard officials said they found the survivors in the water, but their boat was nowhere in sight.

“It was a rustic boat -- what the Cubans call ‘un balsa’ -- a raft made of barrels,” Morales said. “They were basically on top of one another -- 20 people on that raft.”

Officials said the two deceased boaters have been brought ashore.

As for the eight people who were rescued, they will remain on a Coast Guard cutter for the time being, where they are receiving food, water and medical attention.

We are expected to receive another update from the Coast Guard at 2 p.m.

Afternoon report

About the Author:

Roy Ramos joined the Local 10 News team in 2018. Roy is a South Florida native who grew up in Florida City. He attended Christopher Columbus High School, Homestead Senior High School and graduated from St. Thomas University.