MIAMI (AP) — Coast Guard officials have rescued nearly 100 Haitian migrants from a dangerously overloaded freighter.
Miami Coast Guard officials said their helicopter crew spotted the overcrowded, 40-foot sail freighter near Cuba on Saturday. Officials deployed a cutter from Key West to rescue the migrants, saying the vessel was not equipped to carry its passengers and was perilously overcrowded.
Coast Guard officials said it could have been a life threatening situation for the 86 migrants onboard. Once safely on the Coast Guard cutter, the migrants were given food, water and medical treatment.
The migrants were repratriated to Cap-Haïtien, Haiti.
The Coast Guard says roughly 221 Haitian migrants have attempted to cross open waters to illegally migrate to the U.S. since Oct. 1.