2 dead, 5 sought, 8 rescued after Cuban migrant’s rustic boat overturns off Florida Keys

MONROE COUNTY, Fla. – A rustic boat with 15 migrants on board was tilted for the lower Florida Keys on Friday, according to the US Coast Guard. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation officers found two dead.

The Coast Guard was looking for five Cuban migrants overnight after rescuing eight Cuban migrants about 22 kilometers south of Sugarloaf Key. Six of the rescued needed medical attention.

The bodies of the two dead were at the Monroe County Medical Examiner’s Office, according to the FWC and the Coast Guard.

“Our search continues for others who may have survived this tragic incident,” Rear Admiral Brendan McPherson said in a statement Friday night.

The Coast Guard continued to search for five people Friday night after a rustic boat carrying 15 migrants aboard capsized in the lower Florida Keys.

McPherson, commander of the Seventh Coast Guard District, also said the tragedy is an example of the many risks Cuban migrants in overcrowded makeshift vessels face when crossing the Florida Straits.

The Coast Guard received reports of capsized ships and people in the water at about 10 a.m.

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Deaths are falling as federal authorities face a wave of Cuban migrants. US Border Patrol reported that more than 130 migrants had been detained along the island chain in the past two days.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of those who lost their lives in the Lower Keys,” McPherson said.

Amid an economic crisis in Cuba, US federal agencies have faced a surge in migrants at sea and on the US-Mexico border.

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Aug 4 report

Thirty-one migrants arrived in three separate landings in the Florida Keys Thursday morning, sources tell Local 10 News.

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