While American families were sitting around the table enjoying Thanksgiving dinner, 17 migrants from Haiti and the Bahamas were trekking through the Atlantic trying to reach Florida.
The U.S. Coast Guard was alerted that a boat with 12 people aboard had departed from Freeport at around 8 p.m. and was heading for Boynton Beach, but it never arrived.
As the Coast Guard searched for the lost boat by air and by sea, a 911 call reported a disabled 25-foot boat with 17 people aboard east of Juno Beach.
With the help of the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office, the Coast Guard found the boat and confirmed that is was the missing one from Freeport.
Authorities removed 14 Haitian migrants and three Bahamian migrants. They were turned over to the Royal Bahamas Defense Force.
The Coast Guard says about 467 Haitian migrants have tried to illegally enter the U.S. by sea since Oct. 1, compared to 3,704 Haitian migrants last year.
This article is written by Devoun Cetoute from Miami Herald and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.