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Posted July 25, 2003 by publisher in Cuban Culture

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Associated Press

MIAMI - Cuban migrants fashioned a boat out of a 1951 Chevy pickup truck and “drove” it to within 40 miles of the United States before they were spotted and returned to the island, the U.S. Coast Guard said Wednesday.


Twelve Cuban migrants attempt to cross the Straits of Florida Wednesday, July 16, 2003, in a boat fashioned out of a 1951 Chevy pickup truck driving it within 40 miles of the United States before they were found by the U.S. Coast Guard and returned to the island. (AP Photo/U.S. Coast Guard, Gregory Wald)

The dozen migrants, some sheltered in the truck cab or under a yellow tarp covering the bed, were noticed last week by a U.S. Customs aircraft south of Key West, Coast Guard Petty Officer Ryan Doss said.

A propeller attached to the drive shaft of the green vintage pickup was pushing it along at about 8 mph, Doss said. The truck-raft was kept afloat by empty 55-gallon drums attached to the bottom as pontoons.

Migrants have been found on rafts or small boats made out of refrigerators, bathtubs, surfboards and inner tubes, but the truck was believed to be a first.

“We haven’t come across any vehicles like that before,” Doss said.

  1. Follow up post #1 added on September 09, 2004 by Chico

    All these guys should be accepted in the states and given a full scholarship at M.I.T. in engineering!

  2. Follow up post #2 added on November 17, 2004 by Eileen

    I heard the Coast Guard sunk the truck, and I think that’ a shame!  I believe we should have such vessels on public display to show the drive of Freedom!  Does the Coast Guard keep a record of where the vessels are sunk?  Is it legal to resurect the vessels??  Let’ start a museum! 

  3. Follow up post #3 added on December 08, 2004 by Staples

    They should let those people over.

  4. Follow up post #4 added on June 28, 2009 by george

    i know those people i play with luis grass son his name is angel grass hes 9 they live in front of me hialeah florida yes thats in miami

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