Multiple agencies responded to a call of a wooden vessel carrying more than 300 Haitian migrants in the shallow waters off Ocean Reef Club in north Key Largo Sunday, according to the U.S. Border Patrol.
Officials with the U.S. Coast Guard, Border Patrol, Monroe County and Miami Dade Fire Rescue were all on the scene responding to the latest migrant vessel trying to reach the United States, in what authorities suspect is a smuggling operation.
Authorities say the sail freighter came aground 300 yards from shore.
“The condition of the vessel was reported by our partners as being in poor condition, let alone overload of the migrants, no life vests or anything like that on board," Adam Hoffner of the U.S Border Patrol said.
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A good Samaritan spotted the sail freighter and called authorities.
Ocean Reef residents watched as about 158 migrants attempted to swim to shore, among them women and children.
“The high winds were terrible conditions for anyone to be out here in the water,” Hoffner said.
At least three people were injured but there is no concrete information on where the injured were taken or where the other migrants were being taken. They are in U.S. Border Patrol custody and will be processed for removal proceedings, officials said.
No drugs or weapons were found on the vessel.
This is a developing story. Please check NBC 6 for updates.