Three Cuban migrants feared killed off Florida coast

MIAMI Mon Dec 9, 2013 7:55pm EST

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MIAMI (Reuters) - One suspected Cuban migrant was found dead on Monday, and two others were missing and feared drowned, after a homemade raft with a sole survivor on board was found floating in Biscayne Bay southwest of Miami, authorities said.

A statement from the U.S. Coast Guard said the rafter was plucked to safety after being spotted by a boater in the open water about seven miles southwest of Key Biscayne, an island just off the coast of Miami.

The man said three other people who shared the raft with him had possibly drowned, after he lost contact with them on their treacherous journey across the Florida Straits, the Coast Guard said.

A body believed to be one of the trio of missing people was later discovered north of the site were the raft was spotted, a Guard spokesman said.

The shark-infested Florida Straits, known for its difficult currents and sudden squalls, separates the southeast coast of Florida from Cuba. Many would-be Cuban immigrants have died trying to cross the Straits as they flee their communist-ruled homeland.

(Reporting by Tom Brown; editing by Jackie Frank)

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