By DENISE MAYCOCK
Tribune Freeport Reporter
SIX Cuban migrants who risked their lives to reach Florida were rescued by a fishing vessel after their vessel overturned in Bahamian waters near Cay Sal.
The migrants were turned over to a US Coast Guard vessel and taken to Grand Bahama on Thursday where they were taken into custody by Bahamian authorities.
According to Immigration officer Napthali Cooper, the migrants had reportedly left Cuba eight days before in a rustic vessel destined for Florida. During the journey, the vessel overturned some 40 miles east of Cay Sal.
A passing fishing vessel rescued the men from the water, and contacted the Royal Bahamas Defence Force, which requested assistance from the US Coast Guards in transferring the migrants from the fishing vessel to Freeport.
The US Coast Guard Cutter Robert Yared arrived at Freeport Harbour with the migrants around 7.30am on Thursday and handed them over to Bahamians Immigration officials.
The group was taken to Immigration Headquarters in Freeport for processing. They were examined by the Disease Surveillance Unit of Public Hospitals Authority.
On Friday, they were flown to New Providence where they are being detained at the Detention Centre to await repatriation to Cuba.