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Boy spots raft off coast of Lake Worth Beach

5 men in a makeshift raft were rescued off the coast of Lake Worth Beach on Feb. 20, 2021.jpg
Posted at 11:49 PM, Feb 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-23 14:17:40-05

LAKE WORTH BEACH, Fla. — Father of four, Ron Kotouch, said being a parent isn't the easiest job but it’s the most rewarding. A part that catches Kotouch and his wife Marissa off guard from time to time is the conversations from their kids’ curious minds.

“He always asks questions and I’m always trying to explain things the best I can to him. Sometimes to him I’m kinda like an encyclopedia with answers for everything,” said Ron Kotouch.

This time around it was 8-year-old Liam, their oldest, and what he saw this past Saturday at the Lake Worth Beach pier.

“We went up on the pier and we were talking to the fisherman and told my friend's dad what was out there and it looked like a boat,” remembers Liam.

He knew it was out of place and asked the fisherman to call the Coast Guard.

Liam didn’t think much of it until his mom showed him a WPTV article Monday morning.

The info checked out. Two miles off the coast of Lake Worth Inlet. Five men traveling from Cuba on a makeshift raft for 16 days. A small victory. They were rescued but then came the tough conversation for mom and dad.

“My question was, 'were they moving to the U.S., and were they allowed to stay?' She told me they were probably emigrating. It means like moving from another country,'” said Liam.

It’s nothing new, many out of desperation to escape communist rule. In fact, this month alone the US Coast Guard SE Division reported at least 3 other similar cases of Cuban nationals trying to make it to the U.S.

The Coast Guard said the five men were repatriated to Cuba on Tuesday morning.