MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The mystery of an empty Cuban raft found near Black Point Marina in Cutler Bay over the weekend may have been solved.
On December 30th, the crew of the Carnival Valor plucked four Cubans from a small Styrofoam raft. A Coast Guard cutter, which was not far away and witness to the rescue, then took custody of the four people on January 5th, according to CBS4 news partner the Miami Herald.
A passenger aboard the Valor, who took pictures of the rescue and the raft, emailed them to El Nuevo Herald. The raft appears to be the same as the one found at the marina.
CBS4 viewers who snapped photos of the raft said it was discovered about 2 p.m. Saturday. A video posted to Facebook shows the raft along the shoreline. There are wooden oars on top of the raft. Inside the raft, photos show some sort of clothing or tarps, a backpack, and a wallet with money and what appears to be an identification card with a man’s photo.
The discovery of the raft prompted fears that its occupants may have died at sea.
In the 12 month period which ended September 30th, 2012 nearly 1,300 Cuban migrants were intercepted at sea, according to the paper. Another 350 made it to U.S. shores during the same period.
CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald contributed to this report.