The US Coast Guard said on January 26 that it was continuing a search for dozens of people believed lost at sea when the boat they were traveling on capsized after setting off Saturday evening en route to Florida from the Bahamas.
The Coast Guard became aware of the incident on Tuesday morning, when a commercial vessel found a person atop the overturned hull of a 25 foot boat roughly 45 miles east of Fort Pierce, Florida. The survivor told officials that they were one of 39 people on board, and that the vessel capsized shortly after leaving the Bimini Islands, due to bad weather.
“The survivor was not wearing a life jacket and reported that no one else on board was wearing a life jacket,” Coast Guard Commander Jo-Ann Burdian said at a press conference on Wednesday. Burdian said that one deceased person had been found at sea.
“We do suspect that this is a case of human smuggling, this event occurred in a normal route for human smuggling from the Bahamas into the Southeast US,” she said. Credit: US Coast Guard via Storyful