2 Cuban men who were reported missing rescued at sea near Bimini

A homemade paddle board floating near Bimini, Bahamas, March. 29, 2022. The two people are expected to be transferred to Royal Bahamas Defence Force authorities. (Seaman Eric Rodriguez/U.S. Coast Guard District 7)

BIMINI – The U.S. Coast Guard rescued two Cuban men late Tuesday afternoon near Bimini in The Bahamas, officials confirmed on Wednesday.

According to Coast Guard officials, a Good Samaritan spotted the men on a homemade paddle board about 10 miles west of Bimini and the men were brought aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Mohawk around 5 p.m.

Officials said the men were believed to be missing at sea and they had been searching for them for two days last week, suspending the search on Sunday.

According to officials, they were notified by concerned family members on Friday that the men had left Cuba on March 22 and were en route to Key West.

The men are expected to be transferred into the custody of the Royal Bahamas Defence Force.

“We are thankful to our fellow mariners,” said Lt. Cmdr. Jason Neiman. “Their actions helped save two lives from the sea. Both men are now safe, but we must highlight trips like this are incredibly dangerous and often turn tragic.”

Since Oct. 1, 2021, Coast Guard crews interdicted 1,067 Cubans compared to:

· 5,396 Cuban Migrants in Fiscal Year 2016

· 1,468 Cuban Migrants in Fiscal Year 2017

· 259 Cuban Migrants in Fiscal Year 2018

· 313 Cuban Migrants in Fiscal Year 2019

· 49 Cuban Migrants in Fiscal Year 2020

· 838 Cuban Migrants in Fiscal Year 2021

About the Author:

Amanda Batchelor is the Digital Executive Producer for Local10.com.