Three Cuban men attempted to windsurf to Florida on Tuesday, crossing the shark-infested and notoriously turbulent Florida Straits to escape communist rule. Henry Vergara Negrin was the only member of a group leaving Jibacoa (near Havana) to arrive in Florida. Negrin is also the first documented windsurfer to safely reach Florida soil in 20 years.
He arrived at the luxurious Reach Resort in Key West 9.5 hours later, after traveling almost 97 miles, and was immediately aided by hotel staff. He was briefly hospitalized, and will be allowed to stay in the United States because of a provision in the Cuban Adjustment Act.
With Negrin at the start of his journey were an “Amando” (aged 28) and “Dwarta” (23). Negrin lost sight of his companions four hours into the journey. Dwarta was found “disoriented and drifting” on February 20, and the US Coast Guard was still searching for the third man as of last night.
The provision in the Cuban Adjustment Act that will allow Negrin to stay stipulates that those intercepted at sea will be returned to their home or another country.
Source: Miami Herald.