HALLANDALE BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - A wooden boat washed ashore in between Hollywood and Hallandale Beach, and witnesses said Cuban migrants were on board.

The boat washed ashore along Hallandale Beach Boulevard and A1A, at around 8:45 a.m., Tuesday.

“They were like kissing the ground and celebrating,” said Dylan Holland, who works on the beach. “They came over to us. They high-fived us, and we gave them water.”

Witnesses said about four or five men walked onto the beach. They said they were happy and laughing and asked for directions to Miami.

“They were very happy. They were laughing the whole time,” said Martina Nintzu who is visiting from Argentina. “They just, they asked the guy from the hotel, ‘Where are we?’ and he said, ‘We’re in Miami, in Hallandale,’ and they were like, ‘OK, so how far away is Miami Beach?’ and they said like an hour that way, and they grabbed some water, and they just left.”

Vendors along the beach said the men told them they were from Cuba, and they were on the wooden vessel for six days. They asked for water and said the boat was powered by a small diesel engine.

It took about 20 to 30 minutes for police and border patrol to arrive, who called the landing a “suspected maritime smuggling event.” However, some said that does not describe what they saw.

“Definitely about a better life,” said Carmen Bush, who saw the boat come ashore. “I mean, you can do anything you want to do if you put your mind to it here. There, you can’t. It doesn’t matter how hard you work.”

The boat the migrants traveled in has since been towed from the shore.

Copyright 2021 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Join our Newsletter for the latest news right to your inbox