At least four people drowned and nine others were rescued after a boat capsized during a failed migration attempt about 50 miles away from the Florida Keys on Sunday, the Coast Guard said.
Rescuers were still searching for five others who were in the homemade vessel that overturned in six to eight foot waves and 30 mph winds.
Pictures released by the Coast Guard show people wearing life vests as they’re pulled from the water.
The Coast Guard did not immediately say where the migrants were from, but there has been an uptick in migration attempts across the Caribbean Sea from Haiti and Cuba in recent years.
The Coast Guard interdicted 7,173 migrants in the Florida Straits in fiscal year 2022, a more than four-fold jump from the 1,527 Haitians who were stopped in all of 2021.
More than 6,100 Cuban migrants were interdicted by the Coast Guard in fiscal year 2022, a massive increase over the 838 Cubans who were stopped in fiscal year 2021.