TAVERNIER, Fla. – The Coast Guard stopped six illegal Cuban migrants (search) who tried to enter the Florida Keys on a small boat Thursday, plucking all six from the water, two after they treaded water for more than two hours, authorities said.
The six were taken aboard a Coast Guard (search) boat off Tavernier, about 75 miles south of Miami, Petty Officer Anastasia Burns said.
After receiving medical treatment, they will be questioned by a U.S. Border Patrol (search) agent involved in the rescue to decide whether to send them back to Cuba or bring them ashore, Border Patrol spokesman Keith Roberts said.
Under the "wet foot, dry foot" policy, Cubans who reach U.S. shores are generally permitted to stay, while those caught at sea are sent back.
Also Thursday, two of three Cuban migrants who swam ashore earlier this month were charged in Key West with assaulting Coast Guard members who were trying to rescue them. The two, who swam ashore near Key Largo on May 6, are accused of threatening Coast Guard members with a knife, machete and oars and face possible 20-year prison sentences.