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Cuban Migrant Who Windsurfed The Florida Straits Found Near Big Pine Key

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KEY WEST (CBSMiami) – In an attempt reach U.S. soil, three Cuban migrants windsurfed across the Florida Straits Tuesday, but only one is known to have reached dry land.

According to CBS4 news partner, The Miami Herald, the second migrant was located by a fisherman Thursday morning.

However, the search continues for the third migrant.

Key West police reports documented how Henry Vergara Negrin, 24, said he left Jibacoa, Cuba, near Havana at 9 a.m. Tuesday with two companions on separate boards.

Jibacoa is located about 97 miles south of Key West.

About nine and a half hours after leaving Cuba, Negrin arrived ashore at Key West’s luxury Reach Resort.

A hotel spokeswoman told Reuters that hotel guests and a staff member with the hotel helped him to a lounge chair where other staff members took care of him.

Negrin is the reportedly the first Cuban windsurfer to complete the dangerous trip across the Florida Straits in two decades.

According to the account Negrin gave police, he lost sight of his companions four hours into the journey when their sails went down.

He told police he knew them only as Amando, 28, and Dwarta, 23.

Dwarta was located disoriented and drifting Thursday morning about seven miles south of the Florida Keys, according to Coast Guard spokesman Peter Bermont.

Negrin was hospitalized for a short time, but released, according to Elee Erice, spokeswoman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection in South Florida.

“He gets to stay,” said Erice.

Under the “wet foot/dry foot” policy of the Cuban Adjustment Act, Cuban migrants who make it to U.S. soil are allowed to remain while those intercepted at sea are returned to their home or a third country.
(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald contributed material for this report.)

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