US Coast Guard ends search for 10 Cubans in sea off Florida

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In this handout image courtesy of the US Coast Guard the Coast Guard Cutter Resolute small boat crew rescues 8 people from the water approximately 18 miles southwest of Key West, Florida, May 27,2021. The US Coast Guard said Sunday it had ended its search for 10 Cuban migrants listed as missing since Thursday

The US Coast Guard said Sunday it had ended its search for 10 Cuban migrants listed as missing since Thursday in seas off Florida.

Earlier, eight migrants were rescued and two bodies were recovered.

The survivors said they had left the Cuban port of Mariel last Sunday, but that on Wednesday night, some 15 miles (25 kilometers) from Florida's Key West, 10 of their shipmates had disappeared, the Coast Guard said.

It said elements of the Coast Guard, the Navy and the Customs and Border Patrol agency had launched searches by sea and air over a wide area, but in vain.

Cubans, fleeing deteriorating economic conditions in their home country, have increasingly taken to the sea in flimsy vessels ill-suited for the 95-mile passage across the Florida Strait, and many do not make it to the United States.

In the last eight months alone, the Coast Guard has intercepted 298 Cubans, up from 49 in the fiscal year ending in September.

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