At least 1 dead after Cuban migrant vessel capsizes, says Coast Guard

At least 1 dead after Cuban migrant  vessel capsizes, says Coast Guard

Cay Sal is seen from a window of an HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircraft during a US Coast Guard vessel patrol mission, in the Florida Straits, on July 17, 2021. File photo credit Reuters/Marco Bello.

 

MIAMI, Florida--The US Coast Guard on Sunday said it had recovered the body of one person after a vessel carrying Cuban migrants capsized off Florida’s Little Torch Key, adding it had rescued nine people and was searching for five others.

  Survivors told rescuers a total of 19 people were originally on the homemade vessel and that four people drowned immediately after it capsized, Coast Guard spokesperson Nicole Groll said.

  Rough seas and winds of 30 miles per hour made an already dangerous voyage more perilous, she said.

  “These vessels are too rustic; they’re not going to survive this,” Groll said, adding that some of the migrants were wearing life jackets, which helped ensure they could be rescued.

  A severe economic downturn in Cuba has driven a massive spike in migration from the Caribbean island. Some migrants attempt to reach Florida on rickety vessels, though most fly to Central America or Mexico and reach the US border by land.

  A record 220,000 Cubans were stopped at the US-Mexico border in fiscal year 2022, which ended on September 30, shattering previous records. The vast majority were allowed into the United States to pursue immigration cases.

  Earlier this month, a senior Cuban diplomat said Cuba and the United States were making progress in talks aimed at curbing the migration crisis. The discussions that began in April are the first such conversations on migration in four years after a hiatus under former President Donald Trump. ~ Reuters ~

The Daily Herald

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