DeBary mayor plans to cross Florida Straits on makeshift raft

A Florida mayor says he's determined to return home from a visit to Cuba in a makeshift raft, despite warnings against the journey from the U.S. Coast Guard.

DeBary Mayor Clint Johnson said Tuesday that he wants to understand the risks Cuban migrants take on the Florida Straits.

Johnson plans to assemble the raft without a motor in Cuba next month. He hopes to land in Key West.

Officials with the Coast Guard's 7th District in Miami warn that many migrants have died attempting similar crossings.

In a statement to The Associated Press, Coast Guard officials said Johnson's trip would immediately trigger a search-and-rescue response.

Johnson says he's willing to work with authorities to assure his safety without endangering Coast Guard crews.

Information from: Daytona Beach News-Journal