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More than 300 Haitian immigrants were detained Saturday afternoon by authorities off the coast of the Florida Keys, at the southern tip of this southeastern state.
According to what the Coast Guard confirmed on Twitter on Sunday, 218 Haitian immigrants were transferred to Coast Guard boats after being rescued from the overcrowded sailboat in which they were spotted by security forces near Key Largo.
Another group of 113 Haitians who jumped from the boat and swam to the shore was left at the disposal of the Border Patrol, informed Walker Slosar, chief patrol agent.
After being evaluated on land, two of the undocumented immigrants had to be transferred to a local hospital because of dehydration, said the official, who added that an investigation is ongoing.
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The interception comes at a time when there has been an increase in recent months in the traffic of fragile boats with immigrants on board seeking to reach Florida’s coasts illegally.
On Saturday, the Coast Guard reported the repatriation of 53 Cubans who were detained in different interceptions off the Florida coast.
The Coast Guard is also continuing the search today for 5 missing persons, presumably Cubans, after a boat with 15 people on board capsized on Friday off Sugarloaf Key, an incident in which 2 people died.
The Coast Guard reported that it went to the scene that day after receiving several reports of the capsized boat and managed to rescue 8 people, 6 of whom had to be transferred to health centers.
Since October 1 of that year, when the current fiscal year began, more than 3,739 people from the Caribbean island who traveled by sea have been detained, according to Coast Guard figures.