BOCA RATON, FLA. (WSVN) - Two Cuban migrants have been reported missing after a group was pulled from the ocean near Boca Raton, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.
Coast Guard officials tweeted that they pulled the group from the water east of Boca Raton, Wednesday morning.
According to officials, at around 9 a.m., the crew of a cutter spotted six Cuban migrants. When brought aboard, the group told them they lost two in their group at around sunset, Tuesday.
They went missing, about two miles east of Boca Raton, and officials said that the scenario isn’t in their favor.
“There were two reportedly missing from their group since sunset Tuesday,” said U.S. Coast Guard spokesperson Jonathan Lally. “Currently, right now, the Coast Guard Cutter Dolphin and the Air Station Miami HC-144 Ocean Sentry crew are continuing the search.”
The six that were retrieved were found in good condition, but because they did not come ashore, they will be sent back to Cuba.
Officials believe the boat the Cuban migrants used was found behind 1200 S. Ocean Blvd.
Beachgoers said they were shocked to see the wooden boat, as it washed up on shore.
“I just saw it coming in, and I went in to have lunch and came out maybe 25 minutes later and saw that it had gone on shore,” said beachgoer Lance.
Unfortunately for the migrants, their trip to South Florida was cut short, and they will not be allowed to stay due to the wet-foot, dry-foot policy. “The Coast Guard Cutter crew saw six Cuban migrants in the water,” Lally said. “Five of the six were wearing life jackets and we started pulling them on board.”
“It’s pretty terrible,” said beachgoer Diego Delgado. “I don’t know what they’re going through over there to be sacrificing that much to come here.”
Overnight Tuesday, a group of 38 Cuban migrants arrived at a refugee service center in Doral. “We prayed because the waves were so high,” said one migrant through a translator.
Paola Marmoto, who was on the beach, sympathizes with the migrants. “I’m an immigrant myself, but I came in a plane, so I can’t imagine,” she said. “They’re physically leaving where they’re from just to come here and be free.”
Another group arrived near Sugar Loaf Key Monday night. Among them was a pregnant woman and a 4-year-old child.
Officials said they believe the group was dropped off. In the last few days, they said more than 100 Cubans have made the dangerous trip to South Florida. “It makes me feel very grateful for where I live,” said Alonso Delgado, “not having to go on a boat like that just to live a good life. Things must be horrible over there.”
Officials told 7News that more than 44,000 Cuban migrants have touched ground in Florida since January.
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