MARTIN COUNTY, Fla. — The Martin County Sheriff's Office Marine Unit late Monday night intercepted a boat carrying at least 18 undocumented migrants, believed to be from Ecuador, off the Stuart Causeway.
The sheriff's office posted on Facebook that everyone on board the boat was an adult and "deputies do have everyone contained."
The U.S. Coast Guard will take custody of the migrants before repatriating them back to their home country, the sheriff's office said.
Second Boat Found Abandoned
A second boat likely used in the smuggled operation was later found abandoned in mangroves along Sewall's Point, a Facebook post by the Martin County Sheriff's Office said.
Deputies urged residents who live along waterways in the area to remain alert.
WATCH: Martin County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy John Budensiek discusses discovery of second boat
"It is likely that the occupants of that second boat have already absconded from our area," the post said. "However, out of an abundance of caution, we are asking all residents to be vigilant and report any suspicious activity or persons in their community, or around your homes."
The sheriff's office said they were increasing patrols on the waterway — from the air and on the ground.