Coast Guard suspends search for missing Cuban migrant off the coast of Key West, Fla.

HC-144 from Cape CodMIAMI — Search efforts for a Cuban migrant who was reported missing off the coast of Key West, Florida, were suspended Wednesday.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Guard Sector Key West received a report from a good Samaritan of a landing of 11 Cuban migrants on Man Key, Florida. The migrants claimed two other men in their group were last seen swimming towards Key West. A Naval Air Station Key West launched a UH-60 helicopter crew that rescued one of the migrants off of Crawfish Key, Florida.

Since Oct. 1, the Coast Guard 7th District estimates that 2,065 Cubans have attempted to illegally migrate via the sea. These numbers represent the total number of at-sea interdictions, landings and disruptions in the Florida Straits, the Caribbean and Atlantic.

“The Coast Guard continues to strongly discourage attempts to illegally enter the country by taking to the sea,” said Capt. Mark Fedor, Coast Guard 7th District Chief of Enforcement. “These trips are extremely dangerous and could lead to loss of life.”

The U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Navy and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission searched an area covering 2,665 square nautical miles.

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