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Cuban Immigrant Boat Lands on Hollywood Beach

Cuban Immigrants Land On Hollywood Beach

Nearly a dozen people scrambled across the hot sand in Hollywood Monday afternoon after their 20-foot boat beached a close by a Hollywood lifeguard station.

Some of the men dropped to their knees and kissed the ground while others cheered and posed for pictures snapped by beachgoers.

The group, thought to be from Cuba, ran west along a boardwalk from the beach to a parking lot on Charleston Street, on the 4600 block of State Road A1A.

Police arrived and gathered the group together. Shortly thereafter, the U.S. Border Patrol took them into custody, Hollywood Sgt. Pablo Vanegas said

“Eleven adults jumped off the boat and ran toward North Ocean Drive,” he said. “They appeared to be from Cuba, immigrants.”

Pamela Smilack, of Dania Beach, was sunning herself a few yards away when the boat came ashore near Charleston Street.

“I was here about 10 minutes and I heard a lot of ruckus very close by,” she said. “When I saw them kiss the ground and start cheering, I assumed that they had come from Cuba and made it safely to Florida, so it was a beautiful thing to witness.”

The group landed around 1:43 p.m. and all were in custody within an hour. They didn’t say much, according to Vanegas. “Just that ‘We’re from Cuba,’ in Spanish,” he said.

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