176 Haitians rescued from overloaded boat near Florida Keys
The Coast Guard rescued 176 Haitians as they were traveling on an overloaded boat near the Florida Keys.
Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations on Monday spotted an overloaded boat about 25 miles from the Bahamas, officials said in a statement.
The 60-foot wooden boat held 176 Haitians and had no life-saving equipment or navigation lights.
“It is extremely dangerous to navigate the Florida Straits in an unseaworthy vessel, especially off the Florida Keys where the water is extra treacherous with shoals and reefs,” Chief Warrant Officer James Kinney said.
“Thanks to the quick coordination among so many different agencies, no lives were lost during this interdiction,” Kinney added.
Federal, state and local agencies worked together so the crew of the Cutter Paul Clark could get personal flotation devices to the boat. Then the Coast Guard station in Islamorada sent a crew to get the individuals to safety and take them into custody.
The Haitians were given food, water, shelter and medical attention after they were rescued. Officials said 10 were taken to the hospital for dehydration.
The number of Haitians migrants who had to be rescued by the Coast Guard in the first three months of this fiscal year is already at 557. Last year, 1,527 Haitians were recorded to have been rescued throughout the whole year.
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