MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) – Six people are facing criminal charges in an alleged smuggling attempt on Wednesday in which four women died, according to court documents filed Thursday.
According to documents filed in Miami federal court, the boat had departed from the Bahamas, and all the survivors were from Jamaica, Haiti and the Bahamas.READ MORE: Davonte Barnes Charged In Mass Shooting Outside NW Miami-Dade Banquet Hall
One of the survivors, a Jamaican citizen, was spotted by another member of the group speaking with a known human smuggler in the Bahamas days before the journey began, and he was identified as a “the crewman” of the vessel, according to an affidavit.
He also told the group before the rescue to tell the Coast Guard that the boat’s captain swam away, according to the affidavit.
The Jamaican man faces a charge of attempted smuggling. Along with one Bahamian citizen and four other Jamaicans, he also faces a charge of attempting to illegally enter the U.S. after being deported.
On Thursday, two men made their initial appearance in federal court, according Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
ICE spokesman Nestor Yglesias said both face charges for attempting to illegally bring people into the U.S.
It was not clear where the remaining 11 survivors were being detained.
According to the Coast Guard, they received a call about a capsized vessel around 1 a.m. Wednesday.
“The Miami-Dade Police department received a 911 distress call from a cell phone from a person claiming to be clinging from a vessel that had capsized with people in the water,” said Coast Guard Commander Darren Caprara.READ MORE: Southwest Ranches Investigation, Police Won't Say What They Are Looking For
Three Coast Guard boats, one cutter, a helicopter and search plane were dispatched to the area.
They found it about seven miles east of Government Cut; 10 people were clinging to the hull of the 25-foot boat.
“We effectively re-righted the vessel and we tragically found four bodies, adult females, underneath. And then an adult male who somehow was able to find some sort of air pocket and we were able to rescue the male,” said Caprara.
One man who was suffering from some type of seizure was taken to Mt. Sinai Hospital but then released to Border Patrol officials.
The nine men and two surviving females were taken into custody. One of the females is in her teens.
The Coast Guard said it doesn’t appear the smugglers cared for their fares’ safety – there wasn’t’ a single life jacket on board the boat.
“Sadly most of these cases have common themes. Taking risky voyages in the dark of night, not using proper navigation equipment, typically they don’t have enough life jackets and boating safety is the last thing on their mind and sometimes they do end tragically,” said Caprara.
The Coast Guard is working with Customs and Border Protection to decide whether they will be processed here in the states, or be sent back to their native countries.MORE NEWS: Hialeah Man Accused Of Spinning Dog Around By Neck Until It Died
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