FT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – More than a dozen Haitian migrants were taken into custody after they came ashore behind an apartment building on Hillsboro Beach.
Police said in total 20 migrants came ashore, five were children. Not all made it however.READ MORE: Business Owners In South Florida Say They're Struggling To Get Employees Back To Work
When police arrived at 1021 Hillsboro Mile around 2:15 a.m. two of the migrants were still in the water. One woman was pronounced dead on the beach, another woman was taken to North Broward Hospital where she was treated for dehydration.
“It’s just sad,” said Steve Hefner, who lives in the area. “It was just face down, so it looked like they had dragged it from the water on to the beach. I couldn’t tell until they turned the body over that it was a woman.”
Border Patrol suspects the migrants were dropped off by a smuggler and told to swim for it.
“Our priority is to prosecute these smugglers. They overload these boats, don’t supply enough life vests for the journey and even before they hit the beach they are telling these migrants to jump in the water so that Border Patrol won’t intercept them,” said agency spokesman Frank Miller.
“I feel sad. I mean they are trying to escape to a better way of life and look what happens. You feel bad, that’s all,” said Charlie Kireahey. “The wet foot, dry foot thing should be eliminated or re-looked at with what’s going on in the world right now.”
The remaining migrants, who were in good health, were taken to the Dania Beach Border Patrol station where they were turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement. They will eventually be returned to Haiti.
Pastor Luke Harrigan spoke to the migrants inside the Border Patrol station. They explained when smugglers told them to get out.READ MORE: ‘Pretty Big Pay Package’: Broward School Board Negotiates $743K Exit Deal For Embattled Supt. Robert Runcie
“It’s a dangerous, dangerous, dangerous ride,” said Pastor Harrigan.
The migrants explained to Harrigan when smugglers told them to get out.
“They said that the water was deep when they dropped them off,” said Harrigan.
The Broward Sheriff’s Office will be handling the death investigation.
It’s the same scenario that left a man dead earlier this year in Fort Lauderdale.
Exhausted migrants were forced to swim, leaving one dead and a couple more hurt. Again, Border Patrol blamed those getting paid to transport human cargo.
Pastor Harrigan says in so many instances, desperate people don’t care about their own safety, they just want to make it to US shores, hoping for a better life.
“Some of them told me they run out of food, water, it’s crowded, but their goal is to come to America,” Harrigan said.
Perhaps one of the most graphic examples of desperation comes from 2002 when nearly 200 people began jumping from a boat at Key Biscayne, then ran onto the causeway and into traffic.MORE NEWS: Pembroke Pines PD: 15-Year-Old Bicyclist Killed After Being Dragged Under Minivan For 30 Feet
[display-posts category=”news” wrapper=”ul” posts_per_page=”5″]