A migrant sailboat overloaded with people from Haiti arrived in the shallow waters Monday evening off the Middle Florida Keys, federal officials said.
Their arrival comes just two days after a group of more than 300 people from Haiti arrived in a sailboat that grounded off the exclusive Ocean Reef resort community in north Key Largo.
Adam Hoffner, division chief for U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Miami operations, said agents took 109 people into custody who left the vessel. The Coast Guard said in a statement released on Twitter Tuesday that 14 people stayed on the boat, and those people are in that agency’s custody.
The Keys have been the most frequent landing spot for fleeing Cubans and Haitians for more than a year. However, migrant activity within the island chain ramped up dramatically in the past week.
Between Thursday and Monday, the Border Patrol took into custody 372 people, including the Haitian migrants, from a total of 17 landings, according to the agency.
Also last week, the U.S. Coast Guard said it searched for five people who were among a total of 15 from Cuba whose vessel capsized Friday off Sugarloaf Key in the Lower Keys. The agency said Tuesday that the search has been suspended after covering 1,774 square miles of ocean.
Two people from that boat were found dead the day the vessel overturned, and eight others were rescued.
Residents posted on social media that they saw at least 100 people walking through neighborhood streets Monday evening as the group was escorted by local police and federal agents.
This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.