The US Coast Guard has stopped searching for a group of missing Cuban migrants whose ship capsized several days ago near Key West.
The survivors, eight of whom were dragged from the water south of Key West on Thursday afternoon, told USCG they had left Puerto de Mariel about five days earlier with 10 others who had moved away. They said their boat capsized on Wednesday evening. Two were later found dead.
At 8 p.m. on Saturday, the coast guard suspended the search for missing migrants, saying they could resume the search if there was new information.
“The decision to suspend a search is always difficult and is taken after careful consideration of all the facts. Our deepest condolences go to the families and loved ones affected by this tragedy,” said Captain Adam Chamie, Area Commander Key West , said in a written statement.
According to a Coast Guard press release, agency, Navy, Air Force, Customs and Border Protection and Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission staff have searched for the missing persons for over of 123 hours. They searched approximately 8,864 square miles – near the New Hampshire area.
An increasing number of migrants travel to the Strait of Florida to live in the United States, although a recent policy change does not allow Cuban migrants to stay once they reach the beach.
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