JENSEN BEACH, Fla. - UPDATE: U.S. Customs and Border Protection has confirmed that the two people who came ashore on a 27-foot sailboat on Friday, August 20, near Hutchinson Island, are in custody.
Customs says the owner of the boat is a male British citizen. A female passenger, who is a German citizen, overstayed her U.S. visa.
The U.S. Border Patrol processed the male for entering the U.S. illegally, and the female for overstaying her visa. Both have been set up for removal proceedings.
They are currently being held at Broward Transitional Center awaiting a hearing before an immigration judge.
Customs says the British citizen who owns the boat has arranged for someone to pick it up.
Two days after it came ashore, the waves continue to crash against the hull of the 27 foot sailboat.
"Everyone is just in disbelief to see the boat just sitting here," said Jessica Langley, who lives nearby.
As for how it got there, Hutchinson Island residents can only speculate.
"The boat washed up on shore and I saw the little dingy, I pulled it in and waited to see if the owners showed up, but nothing," said Ingrid Peters, who also lives nearby.
According to residents there were two people aboard; they anchored near shore and got off to grab a quick bite, but by the time their meal was over the waves had slapped the boat onto the sand.
"They were rudely interrupted form their dinner to see their boat washed ashore and now it’s just sitting here and they can't do anything about it while it gets broken," said Langley.
The story gets even more interesting from there.
It appears an onlooker called the Coast Guard to report the incident.
Once the Coast Guard arrived, the speculation is there was trouble with the ship's passengers' paperwork.
"The biggest story is maybe they came aboard and they didn't have their visas straightened out," said Langley.
Onlookers said Customs and Immigration Officers took the pair into custody, leaving the boat behind, it's keel buried beneath the sand.
"Somebody should be getting it out of here, that’s the major point, it’s dangerous," said Ginger Lucy.
The Coast Guard would not comment on the incident, stating there is an ongoing investigation.
©2007 The E.W. Scripps Co. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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