The Coast Guard rescued 22 people, including several children, from an overloaded sailing vessel near the Florida Keys on Monday, officials said.
The ship was spotted by a Good Samaritan at 5:00 a.m. near Rodriguez Key, an island a few miles south of Key Largo.
The Coast Guard spent several hours trying to get them off the ship, but the rescue was complicated by six- to 10-foot waves and 25 mph winds.
It was not immediately clear where the people were from, but there has been a surge in migrants from Haiti and Cuba over the past year trying to make the perilous journey across the Florida Straits.
Sailboat stopped off Florida coast with more than 150 migrants on board
Photos released by the Coast Guard show a rescue ship following the overcrowded vessel.
The Southeast Division of the Homeland Security Task Force notes that many ships are unsafe and overloaded, making travel in Florida especially dangerous during hurricane season.
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The Coast Guard said several migrants drowned on Sunday when a boat capsized about 50 miles south of the Florida Keys.