A good Samaritan is being credited with saving the life of a man who survived for 10 days aboard a makeshift raft that reportedly departed from Cuba. The man, who was found in Biscayne Bay south of Miami, says he had three companions with him who perished along the way. The good Samaritan reported the man around 1pm Saturday, and Coast Guard Station Miami Beach responded. Fox News notes the raft appeared to be made of Styrofoam and wood.
The Miami Herald reports the rescued man needed immediate medical attention and was taken to a hospital. Customs and Border Protection has been told of the situation. It wasn't the first Styrofoam craft to recently attempt the voyage. Local 10 reports that two men sailing what the Coast Guard called "a 10-foot Styrofoam hull rustic vessel" were intercepted near Key West and returned to Cuba. They were among 32 people stopped off the Florida Keys in the first week of August who had departed from Cuba.
"We cannot stress enough how dangerous it is to take to the seas and navigate the Florida Straits on unsafe vessels," said Coast Guard Sector Miami Lt. Cmdr. Ben Tuxhorn in a statement. "The South Florida maritime community has some of the best people who assist others while on the water, whether that's towing a boat or helping out a migrant with food, water, and bringing them aboard if necessary. Most importantly, this community knows to call the Coast Guard in these situations, because if you don't, you may be part of a human smuggling investigation for just doing the right thing." (Read more rescue stories.)