A mysterious boat built from Styrofoam blocks washed ashore in North Carolina and items left aboard indicate it was likely manned by Cuban refugees.
Photos of the craft appeared on Facebook on Sunday, July 3, when it was spotted by tourists on Caswell Beach, 55 miles south of Wilmington.
Closer inspection revealed a worn engine and battery, containers of fuel, handmade belts and spoiled food. Bags were also found with the words “Alimport Cuba,” that’s “Cuba’s government import agency”, according to Agri-plus.com.
A boat trip from Cuba to Caswell Beach would cover 855 miles, but the idea seems less far-fetched when we consider the Gulf Stream flows past Cuba towards the coast of North Carolina.
Beachgoers saw something poignant in the idea of a refugee vessel washing ashore over the weekend of July 4.
“A normal day at the beach didn’t become so normal when this refugee boat washed up,” Emily Poole from Sherrill’s Ford wrote on Facebook.
“I hope the passengers made it through, but it really makes you think about how much we take our lives for granted in the US. Others want to live here so badly that they’d risk building this boat to travel 800 miles to the freedom to travel.”
She noted that the supplies and food – including a goat’s head and fish – were not tied up, proving that the boat “not tipped over.”
Breakable boats made of styrofoam Blocks and lumber are known to be used by refugees trying to sail from Cuba to the United States. The craft is notorious for capsizing and difficult to maneuver resulting in occupant expenses weeks adrift, news channels reported.
Jeneal Bunn said she saw the empty boat wash up? and called it “one of the saddest things I’ve ever seen.”
“I keep thinking that the poor souls who were so desperate to cross the ocean are such an inadequate vessel,” she wrote on Facebook on July 3.
The boat was “towed away” later that day through the combined efforts of the Caswell Beach Police Department and the U.S. Coast Guard, WECT reported. His fate was not revealed.