Search for migrants after boat sinks off Florida Keys as Hurricane Ian hits

Officials say four Cuban migrants swam to shore and three were rescued from the ocean but 20 more are feared missing

A boat rocks in the waves in the Gulf of Mexico in Dunedin, Florida ahead of Hurricane Ian making landfall on September 28, 2022.  - Ian intensified to just shy of catastrophic Category 5 strength Wednesday as its heavy winds began pummelling Florida, with forecasters warning of life-threatening storm surges after leaving millions without power in Cuba.  (Photo by Bryan R.  Smith  /  AFP)
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Four Cuban migrants swam to shore in the Florida Keys and three others were rescued after their boat sank on Wednesday, shortly before Hurricane Ian made landfall in south-west Florida.

But 20 more might be missing, officials said.

The four Cubans reached Stock Island, just east of Key West, and reported their vessel sank because of inclement weather, the US Customs and Border Protection's Walter Slosar said on Twitter.

The US Coast Guard started a search for 23 people and found three survivors about three kilometres south of the island chain, officials said.

The survivors were taken to a local hospital and treated for exhaustion and dehydration.

Air crews continued to search for the remaining migrants.

Updated: September 29, 2022, 9:37 AM