Body Washes Ashore As 100 Migrants Reach Florida

AP, March 28, 2007

More than 100 Haitian migrants reached South Florida shores Wednesday after at least three weeks in a dilapidated sailboat, officials said. One man died, and three people were in critical condition from dehydration.

Many of the 101 migrants looked gaunt and exhausted as they were taken into custody. At least two teenagers and a 10-year-old were in the group. The body of one man who apparently drowned washed ashore.

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Mann said the migrants told officials they had been at sea for more than three weeks.

Some swam to shore as the boat approached land, while others jumped out onto the beach after the roughly 30-foot wood and metal craft landed. Authorities brought to shore some who couldn’t swim.

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Last year, Coast Guard agents patrolling the waters of South Carolina, Florida and the Caribbean stopped 6,061 migrants, 769 of them from Haiti. Unlike the case of Cubans, who are generally allowed to stay once they reach U.S. soil, most Haitians who illegally make it into the U.S. are sent back.

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