Cuban Migrant Dies In High-Speed Dash To Florida - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

7/8/06-MIAMI, Florida

Cuban Migrant Dies In High-Speed Dash To Florida

The Coast Guard surrounds the stopped speedboat on Saturday. The Coast Guard surrounds the stopped speedboat on Saturday.
The Coast Guard chases the boat carrying 31 Cuban migrants. The Coast Guard chases the boat carrying 31 Cuban migrants.

 A woman died after the Coast Guard chased and captured a speedboat carrying 31 Cuban migrants and three suspected immigrant smugglers about 4 miles off the coast of Boca Chica, Florida, on Saturday, the Coast Guard said.

The incident began about 6:30 a.m. when the Coast Guard gave chase to a "grossly overloaded" 36-foot boat, moving fast and without proper navigational lights, according to a Coast Guard statement. It was about 39 miles south of Key West.

The boat's driver ignored numerous orders to stop and tried to ram a pursuing Coast Guard boat more than five times, forcing the Coast Guard to fire at its three engines, the statement said.

"A crewman from one of the two pursuing Coast Guard boats applied two shots of disabling fire to the engines of the fleeing vessel to finally stop it and rescue the migrants," the statement said.

The Coast Guard said no one was injured by the gunfire.

Once aboard the ship, the Coast Guard crew found a woman with severe facial bruises and head injuries. She was evacuated to Key West for medical attention but died en route, authorities said. She was pronounced dead at 8:34 a.m.

An autopsy is planned for Sunday, and the Coast Guard will release results, according to Michael Hunter, chief medical examiner for Monroe County, Florida.

"This was a horrific voyage for these migrants and has resulted in a tragedy," Capt. Phil Heyl, commander of Coast Guard Sector Key West, said in a statement. "The family and friends of the dead woman have our deepest sympathy."

Other migrants on the boat, including a pregnant woman and three men, also received medical attention.

Heyl blamed the injuries on the "ruthless smugglers," who speeded an overloaded boat through the choppy water.

"There was no way for these people to brace themselves against the impact of the boat slamming into the rough seas," Heyl said in the statement.

The U.S. Attorney's office is reviewing the incident.

"Smugglers often treat migrants as if they were human cargo, with blatant disregard for individual life and safety," said T. Alexander Acosta, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida. "Today yet another life was lost."

  • NewsMore>>

  • Shelter cares for pregnant homeless people

    Shelter cares for pregnant homeless people

    Sunday, December 17 2017 11:48 PM EST2017-12-18 04:48:40 GMT
    One East Texas shelter has seen a unique need for one area of the homeless- expecting mothers. Longview's 'House of Hope' women’s shelter is trying to meet an unusual challenge. For over a decade the shelter has been a haven for homeless or abused women to take sanctuary, and beloved during the holiday season."When we come here we go to another place that is kind of home, go to another place of family, and it makes a really big difference in the lives of the ladies that a...More >>
    One East Texas shelter has seen a unique need for one area of the homeless- expecting mothers. Longview's 'House of Hope' women’s shelter is trying to meet an unusual challenge. For over a decade the shelter has been a haven for homeless or abused women to take sanctuary, and beloved during the holiday season."When we come here we go to another place that is kind of home, go to another place of family, and it makes a really big difference in the lives of the ladies that a...More >>
  • East Texas well represented in UIL State Football Championships

    East Texas well represented in UIL State Football Championships

    Sunday, December 17 2017 10:40 PM EST2017-12-18 03:40:00 GMT

    The UIL Football Championships will showcase some of the best football there is at the high school level. 24 teams will play over 4 days to claim state championships in 12 divisions through six classifications.

    More >>

    The UIL Football Championships will showcase some of the best football there is at the high school level. 24 teams will play over 4 days to claim state championships in 12 divisions through six classifications.

    More >>
  • Morris brings Arkansas recruiting trail to East Texas

    Morris brings Arkansas recruiting trail to East Texas

    Sunday, December 17 2017 10:01 PM EST2017-12-18 03:01:05 GMT

    It did not take long for East Texas to become a target for Arkansas Football under the new leadership of Edgewood's Chad Morris.

    More >>

    It did not take long for East Texas to become a target for Arkansas Football under the new leadership of Edgewood's Chad Morris.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly