The U.S. Coast Guard rescued six migrants who were found clinging to inner tubes off the coast of Miami Beach Wednesday morning, officials said. The people were found on the inner tubes 5-10 miles off Key Biscayne, officials said.
The Coast Guard couldn’t say what country the migrants came from, but believed they may be Cuban. But rescue workers were stumped on how the group managed to get as far as they did without any noticeable health issues, including sun exposure.
“We urge the Cuban people not to take this route out of Cuba,” said Ramon Saul Sanchez. “So many have died in the Straits of Florida.”
Sanchez also noted the Coast Guard is highly successful at intercepting Cuban refugees. Still, the numbers show more Cubans and Haitians are taking to the Straits of Florida. In 2013, a total of 6,487 Cubans and Haitians crossed the straits. In 2014, 2,985 Cubans have tried to make the trek and 4,314 Haitians have attempted it as well.
“We are on track to surpass last year’s numbers,” said Lt. Commander Gabe Somma of the U.S. Coast Guard. “We have already surpassed last year’s numbers with Cuban migrants.”
The refugees rescued Wednesday will be returned to their home country.