22 CUBANS rescued in rough seas off Key West; 1 person dead, others missing

Wednesday, August 1st 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

KEY WEST, Fla. (AP) _ A migrant smuggling boat on a night run from Cuba capsized in rough seas off Key West early Wednesday, dumping more than two dozen people in the water, the Coast Guard said.

Cutters rescued 22 people and recovered one body, and as many as seven people may be missing, said Coast Guard spokesman Luis Diaz.

The group, which included four children, was first spotted 17 miles southeast of Key West by passing boaters who heard the migrants screaming for help in the water. The boaters called the Coast Guard.

Diaz said the missing include two children. The smugglers may be among those rescued, but haven't been identified, he said.

Only the bow of the capsized go-fast boat was visible in the 8-foot seas, Diaz said. Thunderstorms and 20 mph wind gusts hampered the search.

Diaz said the migrants will be interviewed by Immigration and Naturalization Service officials and may be sent back to Cuba because they were found at sea.