Raft full of Cuban immigrants washes ashore on South Padre Island

by Action 4 News Staff

Posted: 09.01.2014 at 2:45 PM
Updated: 2 hrs ago

Authorities are investigating how a raft full of Cuban immigrants ended up washing ashore on South Padre Island.

It all happened about 9.7 miles north of Beach Access 6 where a fisherman first spotted the raft.

Six men, all later identified as Cuban immigrants, made it safely to shore.

The fisherman called 911 prompting Cameron County parks police to the scene.

Parks police officers called Border Patrol agents to the scene.

The six Cuban men appeared to be in good health but investigators believe they had been adrift in the raft for at least 21 days before ending up on the Island.

Border Patrol spokesman Omar Zamora said the immigrants reported they were trying to get to Cancun, Mexico but got lost at sea.

Zamora said the men were taken into custody by U.S. Customs and Border Protection Air & Marine agents.

Under American law, Cuban immigrants are eligible for asylum in the United States due to the nation's communist government.

Zamora said agents will confirm the identities of the six Cuban immigrants and run a routine criminal background check on them.

Cuba is about 900 miles away from South Padre Island.