updated 4/27/2008 1:08:54 AM ET 2008-04-27T05:08:54

A dozen Cubans tried to cross the Gulf of Mexico in a raft but ran into trouble about 300 miles south of New Orleans, authorities said.

Two died, two were missing Saturday, and six were hospitalized, including a mother and her 16-year-old daughter, the Coast Guard said.

The remaining two were on the Coast Guard cutter that rescued them, Coast Guard Lt. Anastacia Visneski said. She said a Mexican naval vessel and a Coast Guard airplane searched all Friday and Saturday for the missing people.

The crew of the 800-foot tanker Eos reported Friday that the raft was in trouble and some people were in the water, Petty Officer Stephen B. Lehmann said.

He said six of the rafters were taken to a hospital near New Orleans because they were dehydrated and exhausted. All were in stable condition Saturday, he said.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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