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>>

  • BREAKING

    18-wheeler wreck shuts down Hwy 315 in Rusk Co.

    18-wheeler wreck shuts down Hwy 315 in Rusk Co.

    Tuesday, March 28 2017 8:08 AM EDT2017-03-28 12:08:19 GMT

    A Rusk County highway is shut down following an early morning semi truck wreck north of Mt. Enterprise.

    More >>

    A Rusk County highway is shut down following an early morning semi truck wreck north of Mt. Enterprise.

    More >>
  • Sports WebXtra: UT-Tyler hosts special Olympics

    Sports WebXtra: UT-Tyler hosts special Olympics

    Tuesday, March 28 2017 12:13 AM EDT2017-03-28 04:13:30 GMT
    UT-Tyler athletics hosting special olympics on Monday night.UT-Tyler athletics hosting special olympics on Monday night.

    The UT-Tyler Student Athlete Advisory Committee hosted its second annual special Olympics with swoop on Monday night. Numerous Patriot athletes took time out of their normal practice and school routine to participate in the event and give kids a night of fun they normally don't experience.

    More >>

    The UT-Tyler Student Athlete Advisory Committee hosted its second annual special Olympics with swoop on Monday night. Numerous Patriot athletes took time out of their normal practice and school routine to participate in the event and give kids a night of fun they normally don't experience.

    More >>
  • Chapel Hill officially hires Jason Hooker

    Chapel Hill officially hires Jason Hooker

    Tuesday, March 28 2017 12:08 AM EDT2017-03-28 04:08:51 GMT
    Jason Hook officially hired at Chapel Hill.Jason Hook officially hired at Chapel Hill.

    A new era of Chapel Hill football will begin this fall. Jason Hooker's hiring became official at Monday night's CHISD board meeting. Hooker, who comes over from Brownsboro, is replacing Thomas Sitton as head coach and athletic director.

    More >>

    A new era of Chapel Hill football will begin this fall. Jason Hooker's hiring became official at Monday night's CHISD board meeting. Hooker, who comes over from Brownsboro, is replacing Thomas Sitton as head coach and athletic director.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly