ST. LUCIE COUNTY, Fla. — Four suspected illegal immigrants were apprehended Friday morning after apparently landing on Hutchinson Island in southern St. Lucie County, though one suspected illegal immigrant remained at large, according to sheriff's and federal officials.
One Cuban and three Colombians were taken into custody, and all appear to be in good condition, said Frank Miller, U.S. Border Patrol agent in charge for the West Palm Beach station. One of those is a female.
"It appears that we had a migrant landing which departed somewhere in the Bahamas and landed here about 6 or 7 in the morning," Miller said, standing on the beach as officials worked with a somewhat shabby looking Boston Whaler boat with "Only God Can Judge Me" on the side.
"Right now we're determining if it's linked to any criminal organization out of the Bahamas and moving forward with the interviews, running background checks and determining what we have on our hands."
St. Lucie County sheriff's officials were asking for the public's help in finding an additional suspected illegal immigrant. That person is described as a black male wearing dark pants and a blue shirt. Anyone who spots the man is asked to call 911 in St. Lucie County.
Deputies used a helicopter and K-9 teams in efforts to find the man.
Miller said no drugs or contraband were found on the boat, which he said would be seized as evidence.
"Right now we have a coordinated effort to find additional people that may have landed," Miller said. "It may be the same boat, it may be another vessel."
The suspected illegal immigrants were thought to have arrived about sunrise in the 9500 block of South Ocean Drive.
A handful of beach walkers passed the group of local and federal officials gathered near the 17-foot boat, which had a 60 horsepower Yamaha engine.
"They can't say Isaac blew them up here," said Betty Roy, who was out walking on the beach and is visiting from Jacksonville. "That's a very small boat."