Foreign Relations: Shots & a Shrimp Boat

For three days the 67-ft. shrimp boat Ala drifted eastward through the Florida Straits, nudged along by the Gulf Stream. Its diesel engines had burned out, its radio was powerless, it was taking water. The two Negro shrimpers out of Florida's Fort Myers stood knee-deep in water, bailing for their lives. Near dusk, a MIG jet out of Cuba swooped toward the boat.

"That jet came in so low I could see the pilot," recalls Benjamin Washington, 27.

"I waved at him with an old green rag, and Paris [the boat's skipper, Paris...

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