BOCA RATON, Fla. – The U.S. Coast Guard said it rescued nearly 100 migrants from an overloaded boat last week.
According to The Associated Press, the incident occurred shortly after 10 a.m. Wednesday about 20 miles off the coast of Boca Raton, Florida. In a news release, the Coast Guard said one of its helicopters spotted a 40-foot cabin cruiser carrying 98 people, including 96 Haitians, a Ugandan and a Bahamian.
“During the course of the investigation, it was reported the people were at sea for seven days,” the release said of the 53 men, 35 women and 10 children on board. “They spent their final two days without food and water.”
The Coast Guard rescued the migrants and transferred them to Bahamian authorities Sunday, according to the release. No injuries were reported.
“Paying anyone to smuggle you into the U.S. is dangerous and illegal,” Coast Guard District Seven Capt. Robert Kinsey said in a statement. “Smugglers do not care whether you live or die as evident by how recklessly overloaded this vessel was and how long these people went without food and water. These people are lucky to be alive.”
– The Associated Press contributed to this report.