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Search Ends For Missing Migrant Rafters

MIAMI (CBSMiami) — The search has ended for two missing rafters believed to be from Cuba.

The Coast Guard called off the search Tuesday night.

A good Samaritan found one man aboard the homemade raft Monday about seven miles southwest of Key Biscayne, south of Stiltsville.

Ken and Deborah Cary were out boating when they spotted the man.  Ken Cary told CBS4, "We saw him in the water and he waved to us very weakly and I turned around and went back we gave him some water."

They called the Coast Guard and rescue boats were sent to help.

The survivor, who said he was from Cuba, was taken to Mercy Hospital in Coconut Grove.

He told authorities that three people had possibly drowned during the voyage through the Florida Straits.

"He looked like someone who had been at sea for six days. He had a tremendous amount of sores on both his lower extremities. He was extremely dehydrated.  His skin was extremely mottled, but he was conscious and alert," explained Lt. James Harrison of Miami Fire Rescue. "He was asking about the other victims," he said.

Rescue crews found a body in the waters north of where the survivor was found.

After searching nearly 1,500 square miles over 25 hours for the other two men, the Coast Guard called off the search Tuesday night.

Spokeswoman Marilyn Fajardo says the agency expresses its "deepest condolences to the friends and families who lost loved ones in this tragic incident."


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