Dry Tortugas National Park temporarily closes after 300 illegal aliens land

Dry Tortugas National Park. (Photo by Todd DeFeo/The DeFeo Groupe)

Dry Tortugas National Park temporarily closed at 8 a.m. on Jan. 2 after roughly 300 migrants arrived at the park over the past few days.

Law enforcement and medical personnel evaluate and care for the illegal aliens and coordinate transport to Key West. The closure is expected to last several days.

As part of the closure, concession-operated ferry and seaplane services are temporarily suspended.

The park has recently seen an increase in people arriving by boat from Cuba and landing at Dry Tortugas National Park. Park first responders provide food, water and basic medical attention until the Department of Homeland Security arrives and takes the lead.

While the park is closed, vessels may seek safe harbor in the designated areas within the one nautical mile anchoring zone around Garden Key, including Bird Key Harbor.

No visitor services will be available while the closure is in effect, and emergency services will be extremely limited. All closures will remain in place until further notice.

Palazzo Vecchio
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