By Team

MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) – Three Cubans who survived 33 days on a deserted Bamamian islandy bey drinking coconut water and eating shellfish and rats are now in U.S. immigration custody.

The trio was spotted on Monday by a Coast Guard crew on routine patrol between the lower Keys and Cuba. They were waving flags on Anguilla Cay.

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While the crew initially thought it was nothing, as they got closer, they saw the two men and the woman were in distress.

“The thing that caught my attention was a small flag waving in the wind. Upon getting closer to that flag, I saw right on top of it, there were two people waving their arms trying to get our attention,” said U.S. Coast Guard Lt. Riley Beecher.

The Coast Guard crew, out of Air Station Miami went into rescue mode, dropping food, water, and a radio down to them.  A helicopter picked them up the next day and flew them to a hospital in Key West.

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The castaways told the Coast Guard helicopter crew their boat had capsized in rough waters nearly five weeks earlier, and swam to the deserted island.

On Wednesday, they were taken to an Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention center in Pompano Beach.

Legal experts said Thursday that they may be allowed to stay under current federal policies.

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(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.) Team