Coast Guard Rescues Stranded Cubans From Island

by Rachel Lynn Aldrich for

Two men and a woman said they survived on a deserted island for 33 days by eating coconuts, conchs, and rats. The U.S. Coast Guard rescued the three Cubans from the Bahamian island between Key West and Cuba on Tuesday.

How did the guardsmen find them? The trio waved flags to get the attention of a helicopter as it flew on a routine mission off the Florida Keys, the Coast Guard said. Pilot Mike Allert told WPLG-TV that the Cubans had also put up “a large cross.” A crew dropped water, food, and a radio onto the island on Monday before the team came back for the rescue the next day. The Cubans told officials that their boat capsized in rough waters and they swam to the island. It wasn’t immediately clear if they were migrants or merely lost at sea, U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class Brandon Murray told the South Florida Sun Sentinel.

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