South Florida

The wooden boat looked suspicious. Then the Coast Guard stepped in

The U.S. Coast Guard stopped a wooden boat near Boca Raton on Aug. 5, 2019. Six Cuban migrants were aboard the vessel, the agency said.
The U.S. Coast Guard stopped a wooden boat near Boca Raton on Aug. 5, 2019. Six Cuban migrants were aboard the vessel, the agency said. Coast Guard

A concerned boater called the Coast Guard on Monday after spotting a suspicious wooden boat near Boca Raton.

When crews arrived, they found six Cuban migrants aboard the 15-foot boat, the agency said.

The six men, who were given food, water and basic medical attention, will now be returned to their homeland, according to the Coast Guard.

“People attempting to illegally enter the United States put their lives and their loved ones at risk,” Petty Officer 1st Class Paula Verden, Coast Guard Sector Miami command center, said in a news release. “These unseaworthy crafts do not have navigational or safety equipment on board, exposing its occupants to a tragic scenario.”

In recent days, the Coast Guard has stopped several boats with migrants aboard. On Aug. 1, the Coast Guard stopped a 27-foot boat off Government Cut that didn’t have proper lighting. They found seven migrants, a suspected smuggler and 67 packages of marijuana, the Coast Guard said. On July 31, a boat named Bada Bing was stopped in the waters near Hollywood. Crews found three Brazilian migrants, one Jamaican migrant and two suspected smugglers aboard the 37-foot pleasure craft. A week before, the Coast Guard stopped a boat near Fort Lauderdale that had 12 Chinese migrants aboard.

Carli Teproff grew up in Northeast Miami-Dade and graduated from Florida International University in 2003. She became a full-time reporter for the Miami Herald in 2005 and now covers breaking news.
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