FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - Customs and Border Patrol agents have taken dozens of migrants into custody after three groups came ashore in Broward and Monroe counties, authorities said.
Cellphone video captured one of the groups as they jumped in the water and bolted down the beach in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, early Sunday morning.
The migrants were seen grabbing their bags and wading through high tides as they reached the shore near North Ocean Drive and East Commercial Boulevard.
Spiro Marchelos, the owner of the Anglers Fishing Pier, spoke with 7News hours later.
“We immediately called 911. There were probably between 25 and 30 migrants,” he said.
Investigators said the boat was filled with Jamaican and Colombian nationals, including women and children.
“They had packages, and they all bolted. They headed south,” said Marchelos. “Hopefully the police have caught them.”
Border agents detained nine people at around 7 a.m.
About an hour later, agents said, another boat reached land near the Pelican Grand Beach Resort along North Atlantic Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale.
Beachgoers could not help but stop to look at the vessel lined with caution tape, tied down to beach chairs.
Investigators said migrants from Ecuador and Colombia ditched their boat at this location.
Border Patrol agents caught up with nine people and took them into custody in what they called the second smuggling operation of the day.
Authorities said these operations were not the only ones that went down this weekend. Sunday night, CBP officials confirmed agents detained 37 Cuban migrants in Key West on Saturday.
Copyright 2021 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.