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Friday, December 24, 2004

USA: Six Cuban rafters reported missing

from Herald Tribune:

Rescuers searched Monday for six Cuban rafters reported missing off the South Florida coast.

The search began after a Cuban swam ashore here Sunday night and told authorities that six others were still at sea. He said two of his missing companions tried to swim ashore with him while four had remained with the raft.
Coast Guard Lt. Tony Russell said the search comes a year after 10 Cubans aboard a raft died while attempting to reach Florida - the last known deaths of Cuban rafters off the Florida coast. He said the cold weather could make it difficult for the missing six to survive.

"Even in South Florida, prolonged exposure to the elements that migrants subject themselves to can be deadly this time of year, particularly on a day like this with wind chill factor temperatures in the 40s," Russell said.

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