Fisherman recalls rescue of Cuban immigrants on South Padre Island
Tue, 02 Sep 2014 23:49:55 GMT —
A fisherman is speaking out after helping to rescue six Cuban immigrants whose boat washed up on the shore of South Padre Island.
Gustavo Burr said he was visiting the Island and fishing just north of Beach Access 6 when he spotted something unusual.
Burr said he saw a boat and then he saw six men walking north.
The Houston area man stopped to talked them and quickly learned they weren't from the Rio Grande Valley.
"I heard their accents and I asked them, 'Are you Cuban?," Burr recalled.
Burr said he called 911 but the operator told him to call Border Patrol.
Officials with Border Patrol kept him on old too long, so he drove them to the Cameron County Parks Police office.
Burr said them mend told him they got lost at seas and that that their compass broke.
"They say they lost it and they just kept going their engines got all messed up or whatever five days after they came out of the island of Cuba and they just started using a shower curtain to guide the boat," Burr said.
Border Patrol agents said the men did require some medical attention but are doing fine.
The six Cuban immigrants were turned over to U.S. Immigration & CUstoms Enforcement (ICE) agents in Harlingen.
Under an anti-communist 1963 law, any Cuban national who sets foot on American soil is eligible for asylum in the United States.
ICE officials released the six men while their asylum applications remain under review.
The six men are staying at the La Posada Providencia immigrant shelter.