Two Cuban Migrants Lost While Trying to Windsurf to Key West

Categories: La Habana

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The U.S. Coast Guard is searching for two men after their plan to escape Cuba by windsurfing went awry.

Authorities learned of the man's disappearance after a third Cuban windsurfer successfully completed a nine and a half hour journey and wound up on a private resort beach in Key West on Tuesday afternoon.

Henry Hugo Vergara Negrin, 24, had left Jibacoa, Cuba on Tuesday morning with two friends, according to Keys News. He says he lost sight of the two others about 60 miles south of Key West, and was forced to complete the journey alone.

"We're saturating the search area," Coast Guard spokesman Ensign Peter Bermon told Keys News. "He said he lost sight of them approximately 60 nautical miles south of Key West. Part of our search pattern includes following the Gulf Stream drift pattern as well as following the route of the one we know made it ashore."

Though, so far the Coast Guard has not been able to locate the two men.

Negrin arrived on the beach shivering and exhausted. He was given medical treatment for blisters on his hand and then processed by the U.S. Custom and Border Patrol before being released.

Though rare, this is not the first time someone has windsurfed to freedom from Cuba to Key West. Back in 1994 three young men attempted the same trip, but only made it to shore after being picked up by a fisherman's boat. A few months before that a 21-year-old windsurfer said that he successfully completed the journey after deciding to attempt it on a whim.

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