Thursday, January 26, 2006

Coast Guard continues search for 15 migrants on boat in Fla. Straits

Coast Guard continues search for 15 migrants on boat in Fla. Straits
January 26, 2006, 2:30 PM EST

MIAMI: A search has been launched for 15 Cubans aboard a homemade wooden
vessel that was spotted in the Florida Straits a day earlier, the Coast
Guard said on Thursday.

Coast Guard personnel in a helicopter spotted the migrants about 46 miles
southeast of Marathon in the Florida Keys at 5:45 p.m. Wednesday.

The Blackhawk crew lost contact with the vessel at 7 p.m. due to poor
visibility and bad weather. The boat has not been located since.

The helicopter crew reported the wooden vessel had no engine and was
approximately 15 feet to 20 feet in length. The sea-state at the time was 4
to 6 foot seas and getting worse. It also reported all people on the vessel
appeared to be wearing life jackets.

Search efforts through the night included aircrews from Miami and

At first light, a jet, a helicopter and a Hercules aircraft were launched to
assist in the search.

Also, the crew of the cutter Matagorda searched last night and this morning
and the crew of the cutter Reliance is en route to the search area.

So far, Coast Guard units have searched a combine area of more than 1,400
square miles in the Florida Straits.

Anyone with information that can help with locating the migrants should call
the Seventh District Command Center at 305-415-6800.

Copyright 2006, South Florida Sun-Sentinel,0,357946.story?coll=sfla-news-cuba

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