A Coast Guard crew first spotted the migrants roughly 40 miles off Key Largo, the Coast Guard said in a tweet
The migrants did not have life jackets or safety equipment aboard the vessel, Capt. Shawn Koch the commanding officer of Air Station Miami, said in a tweet
“If the air crew hadn’t found them on the patrol, these people would not have survived the night,” Koch said.
Six of the migrants were repatriated to Cuba, according to a Coast Guard tweet.
The rescue happened just a week after the Coast Guard rescued a man
clinging to a capsized vessel 45 miles east of Fort Pierce Inlet. According to the man, the boat was traveling from Bimini in the Bahamas when they encountered severe weather and capsized. Of the 40 people on board, only one person was rescued, CNN previously reported.
The Coast Guard said it suspected that incident to be part of a human smuggling venture.