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CBP Surveillance Aircraft Spots Man Adrift in Homemade Boat

Release Date: 
July 14, 2010

Miami - U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents

The handmade Styrofoam vessel, approximately seven feet long, was spotted from a CBP aircraft.

The handmade Styrofoam vessel, approximately seven feet long, was spotted from a CBP aircraft.

discovered a Cuban man after he apparently had floated in the Caribbean Sea for 25 days in a small, homemade vessel.

While conducting routine border security patrol, the crew of a CBP surveillance aircraft detected a small vessel approximately 51 miles south of Marathon, Fla. Upon close examination of the vessel, it was determined that there was one individual aboard and that it appeared to be custom built out of Styrofoam, approximately seven feet long.

This image from a CBP aircraft shows a Cuban man waving for help from his small Styrofoam boat in the Caribbean.

This image from a CBP aircraft shows a Cuban man waving for help from his small Styrofoam boat in the Caribbean.

CBP personnel coordinated with the U.S. Coast Guard for a rescue operation. The CBP aircraft orbited overhead for approximately 3.5 hours, directing Coast Guard boats to the vessel.

Once the Coast Guard vessel arrived on scene, they transferred the castaway to their ship. The man was severely dehydrated and said he left the Havana, Cuba, area on June 20.

Last modified: 
February 9, 2017