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8139: Body of Haitian Immigrant washes ashore (fwd)
From: leonie hermantin <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Refugee drowned off Palm Beach after being forced from smuggling boat
By Jody A. Benjamin
Posted May 30 2001
PALM BEACH · The body of a Haitian immigrant that police discovered at sea
was that of a man who apparently could not swim to shore after being forced
to jump from a smuggler's boat late Monday.
About 9:30 p.m. Monday, police found six men and two women, all Haitian
nationals, on the beach at an upscale residential community. They claimed to
have traveled by boat from Haiti and said two of their group members were
"They were pointing and screaming out to another person in the water," said
Palm Beach Police Sgt. Hal Hutchins, who was at the scene.
An officer swam out to help a woman to shore but could not locate the other
After a helicopter search in the dark, police found the body of a man
submerged in 7 feet of water about 100 yards off shore, Hutchins said. The
Palm Beach medical examiner has yet to determine the cause of death.
A spokesman for the U.S. Border Patrol said that a smuggler brought the
group to 100 yards off the South Florida coast, forced them to swim to
shore, then disappeared.
"We've opened an investigation into this smuggling incident," said Border
Patrol agent Joe Mellia.
None of the survivors was injured in the incident. All were reported in fair
medical condition, Hutchins said. The U.S. Border Patrol took the surviving
Haitian migrants to the Krome detention center where they face a hearing
before an immigration judge on whether they should be allowed to remain in
the United States.
Jody A. Benjamin can be reached at email@example.com or
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