Search continues for 31 Cubans

August 23, 2005

Miami Herald- Jennifer Babson

KEY WEST - The U.S. Coast Guard continued a massive search Monday for 31 Cuban migrants believed to have been thrown into the sea when an alleged smuggling boat they were in capsized about 30 miles off Cuba's northern coast.

Cuban officials notified the Coast Guard by telex Sunday night that three Cuban survivors of the boat accident were plucked by a freighter from the water Sunday. The dehydrated migrants said they spent five days clinging to life -- wearing flotation devices and sporting second-degree burns from a blazing sun.

The freighter returned them to the island late Sunday.

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