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33 Suspected Migrants Rescued Off Boca Raton

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BOCA RATON (CBSMiami) -- Coast Guard crews rescued 33 migrants on a vessel off the coast of Boca Raton on Wednesday morning.

Despite their efforts to get to shore, the migrants are headed back to Cuba according to the Coast Guard.

Crews spotted the migrants while they were searching for two missing Cuban migrants seven miles offshore.

READ: Coast Guard Rescues Several From Water Believed To Be Cuban Migrants

As they were flying over, the migrants started to jump into the water after the vessel started taking on water.

"The boat was taking on water. Several of them were observed jumping into the water without a life jacket," said Coast Guard Spokesperson Marilyn Fajardo.

PBSO Marine and Aviation Unit assisted the U.S. Coast Guard with Capsized Vessel by Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office on YouTube

Chopper4 was over the scene as Coast Guard crews rescued the migrants and took them aboard a small boat.

CLICK HERE To Watch Joan Murray's Report 

All of them were recovered from the water and were accounted for.

The migrants were later transferred to a Coast Guard Cutter for basic medical attention and food and water.

Coast Guard officials said all 33 migrants seemed to be in pretty good condition considering how long they were at sea.

The rescue comes two days after  a group of Cuban migrants were rescued after they were found floating on inner tubes and rescued.

READ: Search Continues For 2 Missing Rafters; 11 Rescued

Two members of that group were still missing as of Wednesday morning which is what prompted the search and later Wednesday's rescue.

The group is part of the upsurge in Cuban migration.

Not since the crisis of 1994, has South Florida received so many Cuban migrants.

By sea, the U.S. Coast Guard spotted 3,722 Cubans in the past year. That's almost double the number intercepted in 2012.

"This shows the risk that's inherent in illegal maritime migration," said Fajardo.




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