Mexico rescues 15 Cubans at sea

Mexican authorities rescued 15 Cubans traveling in a rickety boat off the coast of the resort city of Cancun, the Navy said on Thursday.

Mexico City: Mexican authorities rescued 15 Cubans traveling in a rickety boat off the coast of the resort city of Cancun, the Navy said on Thursday.

The travelers were discovered by fishermen and handed over to migration authorities.

Many Cubans take to the sea in flimsy vessels trying to make it to Mexico en route to the United States.

The number of Cubans attempting the journey has shot up since Havana and Washington announced in December they would restore relations after a half century of enmity dating back to the Cold War.

In December of last year, 481 Cubans were either captured at sea off the coast of Florida or reached US soil, more than twice the number from the same month in 2013.

Under US policy, if they reach American shores they are allowed to stay as refugees, but if they are caught at sea they are sent back to Cuba.