Rescue crews search for 38 missing at sea after boat capsized off Florida coast

Rescue crews searched off Florida's coast on Thursday for survivors lost at sea after their boat capsized over the weekend in an ill-fated human smuggling attempt. The U.S. Coast Guard said it and the Department of Homeland Security would provide details on the search for 38 people who remain missing and the human smuggling investigation later on Thursday in a news briefing in Miami.


Reuters | Updated: 27-01-2022 21:16 IST | Created: 27-01-2022 21:16 IST
Rescue crews search for 38 missing at sea after boat capsized off Florida coast

Rescue crews searched off Florida's coast on Thursday for survivors lost at sea after their boat capsized over the weekend in an ill-fated human smuggling attempt.

The U.S. Coast Guard said it and the Department of Homeland Security would provide details on the search for 38 people who remain missing and the human smuggling investigation later on Thursday in a news briefing in Miami. The Coast Guard said in a Twitter post late on Wednesday that its teams would "continue to search throughout the night for the missing people."

A Coast Guard spokesman, Petty Officer Jose Hernandez, acknowledged late Wednesday that chances of finding anyone else alive were dwindling but that officials would "reassess" the situation on Thursday morning. Crews have recovered the body of one person who was on the boat when it overturned in rough seas on Sunday morning after it left the Bahamas' Bimini islands, about 50 miles (80 km) east of Miami, on Saturday night.

A lone survivor was spotted on Tuesday morning by crew members of a private tugboat. The survivor told authorities after his rescue that he was one of 40 people aboard the boat, the Coast Guard said. The vessel capsized about 45 miles (72 km) east of Fort Pierce Inlet, off Florida's Atlantic coast, about midway between Miami and Cape Canaveral. According to the survivor, nobody aboard had been wearing a life jacket.

Their nationalities have not been released. In a separate incident, the Coast Guard reported intercepting a sailing vessel off the Bahamas overloaded with 191 Haitian migrants believed to be headed for Florida on Wednesday.

Vessel crossings of Haitian migrants have grown more frequent as the Caribbean island nation faces worsening economic and political crises, as well as gang-related kidnappings. The two incidents underscored a surge in migrants seeking passage to Florida in flimsy vessels through the Caribbean by way of the Bahamas, a known hub for seaborne human smuggling.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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