At least eight people believed to be rafting from Cuba were found floating near Biscayne Bay and rescued Monday morning, while another was found by a Good Samaritan later in the evening. The group was believed to be in a vessel that flipped after more than 10 days at sea.
The U.S. Coast Guard confirmed Monday evening that the ninth Cuban migrant was located near Foley Rock. The Good Samaritan pulled the man out of the water and the Coast Guard met the boat and brought the man back to the U.S.C.G Miami Beach Station.
Rescuers had spent much of the day searching for three migrants that weren’t with the eight who were rescued earlier Monday. Miami-Dade Police and Fire Rescue were assisting in the rescue efforts, and several boats and helicopters came to help in the search.
"We were told there were 13 people possibly on this boat or raft and we are still continuing to search to try and find the remaining people, and try to get more information from the people we did rescue," Miami Fire Rescue Spokesman Iggy Carroll said.
The migrants, believed to be from Cuba, were reported near Sand Key just west of Elliot Key in Miami-Dade. They had spent more than 10 days at sea before being rescued, according to the Coast Guard.
Officials were first called to the scene when a private boat operator reported that a vessel had flipped over. At one point, footage showed two men floating on some sort of debris with a third man sitting in an inner tube. A helicopter lowered a basket and brought all three to safety.
Other men were seen sitting in the back of Coast Guard or MDPD boats, and one man was taken to Tamiami Airport to be processed by federal agents. Some survivors were taken to a nearby hospital, and they were considered to be in stable condition, Coast Guard officials said.
Under the "wet-foot, dry-foot policy," Cuban migrants interdicted at sea would be returned to Cuba.