About two dozen Cuban migrants were missing Wednesday after their boat sank in the waters off the Florida Keys as Hurricane Ian neared the area.
The chief border patrol agent for Miami, Walter N. Slosar, said his agents responded to "a migrant landing" on Stock Island in the Florida Keys, roughly two hours before the hurricane made landfall on the southwest coast of Florida.
Four Cuban migrants swam to shore "after their vessel sank due to inclement weather," Slosar said in a tweet, adding that the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office also responded.
A U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesperson told NBC News in an email that the four "individuals are receiving care and treatment," adding that the incident remains under investigation.
With 20 others still missing, the Seventh Coast Guard District initiated a search-and-rescue operation.
By 3:30 p.m., Coast Guard crews had rescued three people from the water about 2 miles south of Boca Chica.
"They were brought to a local hospital for symptoms of exhaustion and dehydration," the Seventh Coast Guard District said on Twitter.
Air crews are still searching for the remaining missing migrants.
Coast Guard ships were patrolling the Florida Straits Thursday morning continuing to assist with search and rescue efforts.