A wooden boat carrying hundreds of Haitian migrants in an apparent human smuggling operation ran aground in shallow water in the Florida Keys, where 163 people swam to dry land and many required medical attention, federal authorities said.
The boat full of migrants listed sharply near the Ocean Reef Club in Key Largo, not far from where another boat carrying 176 Haitians was detained in January.
Many of the migrants required medical attention, according to a tweet sent by Walter N. Slosar, head of the United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) on Sunday night.
The Coast Guard and other agencies came to help the migrant group, which included children and women.
“Multiple agencies responded quickly and worked together to protect many lives today,” US Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. Jason Neiman tweeted Sunday night.
At the moment it is unknown how many people were transferred to hospitals. Coast Guard footage at the scene showed large numbers of Haitians with towels on the shore.