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By Najahe Sherman
Updated on: January 13, 2023 / 5:22 AM / CBS Miami
MIAMI – As many as 70 Haitian migrants were rescued off the coast of Virginia Key Thursday.
The migrants were at sea for five days. Emergency responders told CBS4 they are shaken up. They gave them blankets, food and water.
“Life is the number one priority right now. Making sure that everyone is okay, accounted for and that they are in good health,” said Michael Silva with U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
They took one man to Jackson Memorial Hospital, doctors treated him for hypothermia. Twenty one adults and four youths are in custody. Good Samaritans helped the migrants until the Coast Guard and Miami Fire Rescue arrived.
“We received a call that there was a vessel that was taking on water and that there was multiple patients on that vessel. So when we arrived here at Virginia Key Beach we encountered migrants that were being brought onto land by civilians,” said Lt. Pete Sanchez with Miami Fire Rescue.
One witness described what he saw, “I was by the water by the Virginia Key and all I saw was a bunch of boats and the coast guard around it. It has been happening a lot so it’s a crisis so it’s kind of tough for everybody. For me as an immigrant, it really hurts,” he said.
Officials told us dozens of other migrants remained on the 30-foot boat. A Border Patrol spokesperson told us the group left Sunday from Port-de-Paix.
Najahe Sherman is a news anchor and reporter for CBS News Miami. She anchors CBS Miami news at 5:30 p.m. on weekdays and reports for the 11:00 p.m. news.
First published on January 12, 2023 / 4:43 PM
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