Missing Boater Found After Bimini Trip. Coast Guards Suspect Human Smuggling Activity.
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A South Florida boater was found alive after being reported missing for several days. However, officials suspect human smuggling activity.
Fifty-four-year-old Juan Gonzalez was on his way from Bimini, Bahamas in a 22-foot vessel with a stepson who is not a US citizen, and was expected to arrive at Homestead Bayfront Park in Miami on Sunday.
When he did not show up, a missing person’s report was filed.
Someone spotted a disabled boat about 10 miles off Jupiter Inlet. He was rescued after reporting that he had run out of fuel.
Lt Karolina Vega said, “Human smuggling ventures, whether paid for or made by a friend or family member are subject to criminal and civil penalties.”
Mariners should file a float plan, tell someone where they are going and when they are returning, and be in possession of a VHF radio.
Gonzalez is being investigated further.