Latin America

Desert Island Dissidents? US Coast Guard Rescues Cuban Castaways From Bahamian Cay

The three Cuban castaways, a married couple and another man, were spotted by a US Coast Guard plane on Monday and had supplies dropped to them by helicopter on Tuesday. They were transported to Florida for treatment and are now in an immigrant detention centre.

Three Cuban illegal immigrants have been rescued by the US Coast Guard from a Caribbean ‘desert island’ where they were stranded for over a month.

The two men and a woman, who have not ben named, survived for 33 days on the uninhabited Anguilla Cays of the Bahamas by eating coconuts, conches and rats.

They set off from Cuba in a small boat last month in an attempt to reach Florida in the USA, but they capsized in rough waters and had to swim to the island some 40 miles north of their homeland.

Miami’s WPLG station reported that the castaways were spotted waving a makeshift flag by a Coast Guard HC-144 patrol aircraft on Monday.

An MH-60 Seahawk from Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater, near Tampa, was sent and lowered food, water and a two-way radio to the trio the next day, locating them by flags they had placed and the figure of a cross they had laid out. Helicopter pilot Commander Mike Allert said the three showed signs of dehydration and fatigue, but were uninjured.

“We were alerted to them by the flags that they actually had in addition to a large cross that they put out there for themselves,” Allert said.

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