Cubans Who Tried to Reach Florida on Truck-Boat Make Another Attempt With
The Associated Press
MIAMI Feb. 4 Two Cubans who tried to sail to Florida in a truck
converted to a pontoon boat last year are making another attempt, this
time piloting a seagoing 1950s-era Buick with four other adults and five
children, relatives said.
The Miami Herald said the 1959 Buick was nearly halfway to Key West by
Tuesday evening. Key West is 90 miles from Havana, but it was not
immediately clear where on Cuba the group had set out to sea.
The Buick's doors had been sealed to keep water out and it was powered by
its original V-8 motor, said Eduardo Perez Grass, who was among those on
the earlier attempt to reach the United States on the floating truck.
The Chevy pickup they used then was kept afloat by empty 55-gallon drums
attached to the bottom as pontoons. A propeller attached to the drive
shaft pushed it along at about 8 mph.
After the Coast Guard intercepted them about 40 miles off Key West, the
pickup was sunk to keep it from becoming a hazard to other vessels.
Everyone who was returned to Cuba after the modified truck voyage had
since applied for permission to immigrate legally to the United States.
But Luis Grass and Ariel Diego were the only two people whose requests
were being considered by American consular officials here.