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26717: Hermantin(News)Haitian migrant drowns off coast (fwd)
From: leonie hermantin <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Posted on Tue, Nov. 29, 2005
PALM BEACH COUNTY
Haitian migrant drowns off coast
A group of migrants, dumped at night along Palm Beach County's coast, swam
toward a lighted replica of the Statue of Liberty at Don King's house. One
didn't make it.
BY ROCHELLE E.B. GILKEN
Palm Beach Post
A Haitian woman got off a smuggling boat in the dead of night and tried to swim
in rough waters to the Manalapan shore, engulfed in darkness except for an
eight-foot lighted replica of the Statue of Liberty.
A police officer discovered the woman's body in the surf around 2:30 a.m.
Monday, about 30 yards away from the statue behind boxing promoter Don King's
house that is a monument to his catchphrase, ``Only in America.''
''It's kind of an omen, isn't it?'' said Clay Walker, police chief in the
wealthy central Palm Beach County community of Manalapan, referring to the
white stone statue with a three-watt torch.
``The seas were rough, really sloppy at that time. The winds were heavy.
[Smugglers] leave them to their own design to get from the boat to shore. It's
a desperate person that tries to enter this country that way.''
The woman, believed to be 29, arrived with at least 18 other migrants. An
officer had spotted one of them, soaking wet, running down the 1200 block of S.
Ocean Boulevard. The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office and U.S. Coast Guard
soon joined a search for the rest when an officer spotted the woman's body on
the beach behind the 900 block of S. Ocean Blvd.
Officials detained 18 people: 10 Haitian men, seven Haitian women and a woman
from Trinidad. They are all being questioned and detained by the U.S. Border
Patrol for illegal entry. They will be processed for deportation, said Steve
McDonald, assistant chief patrol agent for U.S. Border Patrol. It is unclear
how many people evaded capture, but officials suspect one or two.
The woman had an identification card, but her name is not being released until
her identity is confirmed and next-of-kin is notified, said sheriff's spokesman