The Coast Guard rescued 22 people, including multiple children, from an overloaded sailing vessel near the Florida Keys, on Monday, officials said.
The vessel was spotted by a good Samaritan around 5:00 a.m. near Rodriguez Key, an island just a couple of miles south of Key Largo.
The Coast Guard spent several hours trying to unload them from the vessel, but the rescue was complicated by six to 10 foot waves and 25 mph winds.
It wasn’t immediately clear where the people were from, but there has been an uptick over the past year in migrants from Haiti and Cuba trying to make the perilous trip across the Florida Straits.
SAILBOAT OFF FLORIDA COAST INTERCEPTED WITH MORE THAN 150 MIGRANTS ON BOARD
Images released by the Coast Guard showed a rescue ship trailing the crowded vessel in rough waters.
The Homeland Security Task Force’s Southeast division noted that many of the vessels are unsafe and overloaded, making the journey especially dangerous during hurricane season in Florida.
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Several migrants drowned on Sunday when a boat capsized about 50 miles south of the Florida Keys, the Coast Guard said.