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113 Haitian migrants in custody after sailboat runs aground off Florida Keys

Officials took 113 Haitian migrants into custody on Saturday after their crowded boat ran aground off the Florida Keys.

The Coast Guard said in a tweet that it responded with “other partner agencies” to a “grounded sailing vessel off Ocean Reef” near Key Largo on Saturday afternoon.

Coast Guard and US Customs and Border Patrol Air and Marines Operations Division ships and helicopters surrounded the crowded sailboat, photos of the dramatic rescue show.

“Rescue crews are bringing people safely from the grounded ship [Coast Guard] Ships. People went into the water without them #life jackets and will be rescued,” the Coast Guard said tweeted in an update with photos showing dozens of people being rescued from the water.

The migrants were spotted around 6:15 p.m. at Ocean Reef Country Club, photos from the WPLG helicopter showed. Dozens of people sat on a lawn, some wrapped in white blankets or towels. A bus and police officers were also seen at the scene, photos from the outlet showed.

“We are working to keep them safe, clean, fed and healthy and to establish exactly who they are and what they may or may not have brought into the country,” Chief Patrol Agent Walter N. Slosar said in a video statement.

He said USCBP is working with other agencies to “transfer them into our care and into the immigration process.”

“This is an ongoing investigation and we are trying to identify the smugglers who crammed these people onto this ship,” Slosar said.

The massive rescue comes as the search continues for five missing Cuban migrants after a “rustic” boat carrying 15 migrants capsized off Sugarloaf Key on Friday, killing two. Eight others were rescued.

https://nypost.com/2022/08/07/113-haitian-migrants-in-custody-after-sailboat-runs-aground-off-florida-keys/ 113 Haitian migrants in custody after sailboat runs aground off Florida Keys

JACLYN DIAZ

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