Deadline Miami

Coast Guard suspends search for 2 missing Cuban rafters; 3 taken into custody on Miami Beach

Three immigrants came ashore in the 1700 block of Ocean Drive, Monday, Oct. 6, 2014. Coast Guard officials are searching offshore for several more.
Three immigrants came ashore in the 1700 block of Ocean Drive, Monday, Oct. 6, 2014. Coast Guard officials are searching offshore for several more. MIAMI HERALD STAFF

The U.S. Coast Guard has suspended the search for two male Cuban migrants who went missing Monday, officials said.

Three female Cuban migrants landed in Miami Beach on Monday morning near the intersection of Collins Avenue and 17th Street and were taken into custody by U.S. Border Patrol agents. Coast Guard officials then launched a search for two missing male rafters.

The search was called off Monday evening, officials said.

It is the second incident involving missing Cuban rafters in the last two months.

On Aug.19, eight men and one woman sailed from Cuba on a makeshift boat but none arrived in Miami. Last week, the Coast Guard said four bodies found floating in the water Aug. 24 were Cuban migrants, part of the group of nine that left the island five days earlier. The other five have not been found.

The Coast Guard received a report about 7 a.m. Monday of three suspected migrants in the vicinity of 17th Street and Collins Avenue in Miami Beach and that two other migrants were unaccounted for.

Marilyn Fajardo, a Coast Guard spokeswoman in Miami, said a boat crew and an MH65 helicopter from Opa-locka were involved in the search, along with a Miami-Dade fireboat and helicopter.

Fajardo said the three migrants who landed in Miami Beach are women, but she did not have their ages or condition. Vivian Thayer, a Miami Beach police spokeswoman, said the women included an adult and two teenagers.

Frank Miller, a Border Patrol spokesman, said the woman is the mother of the two teenagers. According to Miller, the women indicated that the two men might been dropped off somewhere other than Collins Avenue and 17th Street and may not be in the water.

“We dedicated a considerable amount of time to checking this report and we did not come up with anything,” Miller said.

Officials from various agencies said the search did not reveal a boat, raft or other makeshift boat or debris in the water.

Almost 800 rafters arrived in South Florida beaches between Oct.1, 2013, and last month — part of a growing number of Cuban migrants arriving in the United Sates.

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