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3 Cuban rafters in custody on Miami Beach; search on for 2 more

3 Cuban rafters in custody on Miami Beach; search on for 2 more
10/06/2014 9:20 AM 10/06/2014 5:00 PM

Three female Cuban migrants landed in Miami Beach on Monday morning near
the intersection of Collins Avenue and 17th Street, but the U.S. Coast
Guard launched a search for two missing male rafters.

“Coast Guard search-and-rescue crews are searching for two suspected
migrants reportedly missing off the coast of Miami Beach,” the Coast
Guard said in a statement.

It is the second incident involving missing Cuban rafters in the last
two months.

On Aug.19, eight men and one woman sailed from Cuba on a makeshift boat
but none arrived in Miami. Last week, the Coast Guard said four bodies
found floating in the water Aug. 24 were Cuban migrants, part of the
group of nine that left the island five days earlier. The other five
have not been found.

Monday’s incident began at about 7 a.m. when the Coast Guard received a
report of three suspected migrants in the vicinity of 17th Street and
Collins Avenue in Miami Beach and that two other migrants were
unaccounted for.

Marilyn Fajardo, a Coast Guard spokeswoman in Miami, said a boat crew
and an MH65 helicopter from Opa-locka were involved in the search, along
with a Miami-Dade fireboat and helicopter.

Fajardo said the three migrants who landed in Miami Beach are women, but
she did not have their ages or condition. Vivian Thayer, a Miami Beach
police spokeswoman, said the women included an adult and two teenagers.

Frank Miller, a Border Patrol spokesman, said the woman is the mother of
the two teenagers. According to Miller, the women indicated that the two
men might been dropped off somewhere other than Collins Avenue and 17th
Street and may not be in the water.

“We dedicated a considerable amount of time to checking this report and
we did not come up with anything,” Miller said.

Officials from various agencies said the search did not reveal a boat,
raft or other makeshift boat or debris in the water.

Almost 800 rafters arrived in South Florida beaches between Oct. 1,
2013, and last month — part of a growing number of Cuban migrants
arriving in the United Sates.

Source: 3 Cuban rafters in custody on Miami Beach; search on for 2 more
| The Miami Herald –

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