A makeshift boat with 25 Cubans aboard was spotted near Grand Cayman Island and was allowed to continue on its way to Honduras because it was in good sailing condition, Cayman Islands officials announced Wednesday.
Immigration officials of the British-run islands about 125 miles south of Cuba reported the boat carrying 22 men and three women was spotted early Wednesday near shore in Gun Bay.
Following Cayman policy, the Cubans were allowed to motor on after inspectors ruled the vessel was seaworthy and the passengers were well. Cubans who fail those inspections are detained and returned later to their home island.
The boat, about 28-30 feet in length and made of fiberglass, had two diesel engines, a canvas sail and stabilizing outriggers made of inner tubes held out on long poles, according to the Cayman government announcement.
Cayman authorities often spot migrant boats that leave illegally from Cuba’s southeastern coast and hope to ride the prevailing winds and currents to Honduras. From there, the migrants try to travel by land to Mexico’s border with the United States.
Twenty-eight Cubans were detained in Cayman Brac island in April after their boat docked there with a broken rudder. They were later returned home under a bilateral agreement between Havana and Cayman officials.
At least six boats carrying Cuban migrants have been spotted in Cayman waters since the start of 2011, compared to none in 2010.