Nearly two dozen Cuban migrants have been reported missing near the Florida Keys after their boat sank during bad weather linked to Hurricane Ian, local officials say. Four other people managed to swim to shore.
Chief Patrol Agent Walter Slosar, of the U.S. Border Patrol’s Miami Sector, said on Wednesday that four Cuban migrants had landed on Stock Island, next to Key West, after their vessel sank due to inclement weather.
The U.S. Coast Guard has launched a search-and-rescue operation to search for the 23 missing migrants, Slosar said. Other details about the accident were not immediately released.
On Tuesday, seven migrants from Cuba were taken into custody after making landfall at Pompano Beach.
“Do not risk your life by attempting this journey at sea,” Slosar warned. “Storm surge along with King tide can create treacherous sea conditions even after a storm passes.”
Hurricane Ian, a powerful Category 4 hurricane with maximum sustained winds up to 155 miles (250 kilometers) per hour, is forecast to make landfall on the west coast of Florida. Tropical storm-force winds extend outward up to 175 miles (280 kilometers).
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