Federal agents and the top brass at the Fort Lauderdale Fire Department are investigating the emergency response after a Haitian migrant died while coming ashore.
NBC 6 South Florida has learned the investigation centers around whether emergency teams were in place to handle the men and women as they came ashore Thursday near the southern end of Fort Lauderdale Beach, and whether some units left the scene early.
One police report obtained by NBC 6 South Florida showed just one officer coming in contact with seven migrants.
"Right now this investigation is being spearheaded by Homeland security. They are taking care of the investigation as to where these individuals were coming from, how they arrived on shore," Fort Lauderdale Police spokeswoman DeAnna Greenlaw said. "Our agency handled the death investigation."
Ocean Rescue, Fort Lauderdale Police, the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agents, and Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue were part of the response to the calls from residents related to the incident, which ended with one of the migrants dying.
Fort Lauderdale Police said the first call came in at 6:55 a.m. and the report of the drowning victim was made at 9:11 a.m. It's what happened between these times that has Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue investigating.
Officially, the fire department said it's called a post incident analysis and said it is gathering information from members who were on the scene. Sources said Battalion Chief David Dipetrillo and the teams working under him are being asked about a time period where police and federal agents were on the scene but some fire rescue units may have been sent back to their stations or not deployed to the area.
The Fort Lauderdale Fire Department confirmed they're investigating the incident but gave no other comment.
The migrants came ashore in one of Broward Commissioner Chip LaMarca's neighborhoods. He said communities and emergency teams have to be ready to deal with a situation that can happen over much of South Florida.
"Public safety is paramount," LaMarca said. "We want make sure that obviously people are being safe but that we have the resources there, when something happens they can react."
The police report said that four members of the Ocean rescue division of fire rescue did come to the aid of the man who eventually died. Eight other migrants were detained after the incident, officials said.