HOLLYWOOD, Fla. - A disabled freighter sank Monday about five miles off the Florida coast after the Coast Guard rescued its nine Haitian crew members.
The Honduran-flagged, 160-foot freighter was carrying rice, beans, cooking oil and other goods to Haiti when it experienced engine trouble Saturday. The ship, the Silhouette, drifted for about a day before it was anchored near Hollywood Beach, the Coast Guard said.
Petty Officer Danielle DeMarino said the crew notified officials early Monday that the freighter was taking on water.
The Coast Guard sent a rescue boat to pick up the crew, and had a commercial salvage vessel tow the freighter about five miles offshore, DeMarino said.
"Because it was sinking already, our goal was to get it into deeper waters so it would not hinder navigation," she said.
The crew members were being interviewed at the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. If they ask to remain in the United States, it would be up to the agency whether to return them to Haiti.