U.S. Coast Guard officials said Wednesday a coast guard helicopter crew rescued two men and a woman from a deserted island where they had apparently been stranded for more than a month.
In a statement, the Coast Guard said the three people — later identified as Cuban nationals — were initially spotted Monday by a Coast Guard helicopter as it flew over an uninhabited Bahamian island between the U.S. city of Key West, Florida, and Cuba, while on a routine patrol.
The helicopter crew said the stranded trio was seen waving. The crew dropped food, water, and a radio to establish communication.
The statement says the Coast Guard dispatched a second helicopter Tuesday to retrieve them. They told officials their boat had capsized in rough waters and they were able to swim to the island. Local media reported they said they had survived on coconuts, conchs and rats.
On Twitter, Coast Guard officials said a U.S. Border Patrol agent took custody of the three Cuban nationals Wednesday and turned them over to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. Local news reports say they were taken to the U.S. for a medical checkup.