Coast Guard Intercepts Sailboat in Florida Loaded with More Than 150 Haitian Migrants

U.S. Coast Guard and Miami-Dade police intercepted a sailboat that ran aground with more than 150 migrants south of Key Biscayne near Boca Chita Key in Biscayne National Park on Thursday morning.

The boat was spotted and reported by a concerned citizen after it had run aground.

The U.S. Coast Guard, Miami-Dade fire rescue officials, as well as officers from U.S. Customs & Border Protection and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, were also on scene.

Coast Guard crews rendered aid and assistance giving the migrants life jackets and water and transferring them off the overloaded sailboat to Coast Guard vessels in small groups. Those needing medical aid were taken to Homestead Hospital.

The agency described the sailboat as “overloaded and unsafe” via Twittter Thursday afternoon.

“As I went south, I saw a sailboat sideways and the sails were off to the side and an MDFR boat was next to it,” Ball said. “They were standing up there on the deck.”

Just before 4:30 p.m., all of the migrants had been removed from the sailboat.

While officials have not yet formally confirmed the country of origin, they are believed to be from Haiti.

© Fourth Estate® — All Rights Reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.