More than 100 people were rescued from an overloaded boat early Monday morning before it hit a sandbar in the Florida Keys, according to the U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Border Patrol.
Another 18 Haitian migrants were rescued by federal, state and local law enforcement after they were “caught in dangerous ocean currents while attempting to swim ashore.” US Border Patrol Chief Patrol Agent Walter Schlosser said on Twitter on Tuesday.
It is not clear how many migrants were on board, how many were rescued and their conditions. The Coast Guard said the nationalities of all were not immediately known.
“There were reports of people in the water and our land partners are on scene,” the Southeast Coast Guard said in a tweet after the ship struck a sandbar off Whale Harbor.
Rescue operations have begun. According to the Coast Guard.
The Coast Guard told CNN that conditions were difficult for rescue crews, with seas of 6 to 10 feet and winds of up to 25 mph. Whale Harbor is in Islamorada, in the upper Florida Keys.
Rescue operations began when a Good Samaritan reported the vessel to Key West watchdogs around 5 a.m., the Coast Guard said in a tweet.
Sunday, The Coast Guard said at least five people died After a homemade boat capsized near Little Torch Key, Florida. According to the agency, nine people were rescued from the ship.
Officials visited nearly 7,000 Haitian immigrants in October, up from 1,188 in October 2021, according to U.S. Customs and Border Patrol data. The agency reported nearly 57,000 encounters with Haitian immigrants in Florida in 2022, up from nearly 49,000 the previous year.