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Old 17-04-2016, 14:26   #1
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Cubans spotted on Cay Sal Bank

While sailing to Panama from Ft. Lauderdale we tacked in close to Cay Sal Bank early on the morning of April 2nd 2016. We had just tacked away when we spotted what we thought were some unusual birds. A closer examination revealed that what we were seeing were definitely human shapes. We had trouble initially believing what we were seeing as these rocks are barren and forsaken and in the middle of no where. There was a little boat pulled up on the rock but it looked more like a stand up paddle board than a boat. It had about a foot of freeboard. The rock was so jagged and the waves surged all around it so it was all we could do to get close enough to establish that they were ok. They said they had been there for three days. We offered to take them to the nearest land which was Cuba but they clearly did not want to return there. We threw them some water and food and went to call for help. After some initial problems contacting the US Coast Guard we heard a plane circling overhead and soon had radio contact with the spotter in the plane. Thankfully they took over rescue operations and we were soon on our way leaving matters in the capable hands of the US Coast Guard. We posted a short video on YouTube
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