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Cuban Migrants Spotted Off Key Biscayne

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) -- A group of Cuban migrants were spotted off the coast of South Florida Wednesday afternoon.

The U.S. Coast Guard tweeted around 2: 20 p.m. that  the migrants were spotted off the coast of Key Biscayne, just East of the lighthouse.

The officials had spotted the vessel while out on the water earlier.

"Around 1 p.m. the Coast Guard station in Miami Beach's small boat crew was doing a regular patrol and at that point they made contact with what appeared to be a rustic vessel," said U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer Mark Barney.

Another U.S. Coast Guard cutter responded out to the location to help transfer all eight migrants from that small boat onto the cutters.

Chopper4 was over the scene as the migrants were seen loaded into a U.S. Coast Guard boat.

"Once they're interdicted, from that point, they are taken aboard a Coast Guard cutter where they give them food, water, basic medical attention, clothing as well, shelter and from that point, we start the process for repatriation," said Barney.

Some of the men were suffering from mild dehydration but other than that they were said to be in good medical condition.

It is unclear how long they had been out at sea.

U.S. Customs and Immigration will screen the migrants and determine their status but usually Cuban migrants caught at sea are returned home.

Their arrival comes as more Cuban migrants are risking their lives to make it to the U.S. amid normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba.

Coast Guard officials in Miami said Tuesday that roughly 3,910 Cubans have been caught or intercepted in the Florida Straits, the Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean since the fiscal year began Oct. 1st.


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