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9840: Haitians-Boat (fwd)
From: Greg Chamberlain <GregChamberlain@compuserve.com>
By ADRIAN SAINZ
MIAMI, Dec 3 (AP) -- An overloaded sailboat carrying 186 Haitians ran
aground in shallow water 10 miles off the Florida coast Monday after being
at sea for 10 days.
The Haitians were to be taken to the Coast Guard station in Miami. The
U.S. government almost always sends illegal Haitian immigrants back to
their homeland; as of September, 1,453 have been sent back this year.
The Haitians were given water and lifejackets as they waited to be taken
off the 31-foot wooden boat, which was stuck in 3 feet of water.
About 20 Haitians fled the boat and made it to nearby uninhabited
islands, but they were found, Coast Guard Petty Officer Gene Smith said.
The Coast Guard was searching for two others.
Some on the boat said they left Cap Haitien, Haiti, 10 days ago, Smith
said. Cap Haitien is more than 625 miles from Miami.
"It is a miracle these people did not perish at sea," said Coast Guard
Lt. Cmdr. Ron LaBrec.
The discovery comes after more than 200 Haitian migrants were missing
and presumed drowned after an attempt to reach Florida in two ramshackle
sailboats last month.
About 150 migrants left Haiti on Nov. 1 aboard one boat. The next day,
another boat left with 63 people aboard. The boats have not been seen