Baby on Cuban migrant boat hospitalized in Florida Keys


Several people sit packed on a Cuban migrant boat off Marquesa Key Wednesday, June 8, 2022.

A baby from Cuba aboard a migrant boat stopped by the U.S. Coast Guard off the Florida Keys Friday night was taken to a Monroe County hospital to be treated for dehydration.

A Coast Guard crew took the child to paramedics with Islamorada Fire Rescue, who then took the baby to Mariners Hospital in the Upper Keys Saturday afternoon, both agencies confirmed.

The baby’s condition was not available.

The Coast Guard stopped the migrant vessel around 10:30 p.m. Friday off Boot Key in the Middle Keys, said Petty Officer Nicole Groll, a spokeswoman for the agency. Six people, including the baby, were on board the vessel, Groll said.

The Border Patrol will likely interview the baby’s parents before a decision is made on the return of the family to Cuba..

Adam Hoffner, division chief of U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Miami operations, said there also was a migrant landing within Dry Tortugas National Park in the Lower Keys on Saturday.

Cuba is seeing the largest exodus of its citizens in seven years, and the Florida Keys has become the most frequent destination for migrant vessels — often dangerously unseaworthy, homemade boats.

The Coast Guard has stopped 2,319 people from Cuba along the Florida Straits since October.

Earlier on Saturday, a Coast Guard cutter crew returned 95 people to Cuba who were stopped in several incidents off the Keys between Tuesday and Wednesday.

This story was originally published June 11, 2022 2:31 PM.

David Goodhue covers the Florida Keys and South Florida for and the Miami Herald. Before joining the Herald, he covered Congress, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy in Washington, D.C. He is a graduate of the University of Delaware.

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