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US Coast Guard says 39 lacking after boat capsizes off Florida

Search mission launched after survivor mentioned he was considered one of a gaggle of migrants who left Bahamas on Saturday.

Rescuers from the US Coast Guard are looking out the waters off Florida’s Atlantic coast for 39 individuals reported lacking for a number of days after a ship believed for use for human smuggling capsized.

A man clings onto the hull of a capsized boat in the sea between Florida and MiamiA person was discovered on the hull of a capsized boat off the Florida coast. He informed the Coast Guard he was considered one of a gaggle of 40 who left the Bahamas on Saturday [US Coast Guard via Reuters]

An excellent Samaritan alerted the Coast Guard early on Tuesday after rescuing a person clinging to the principally submerged hull of the boat after it hit dangerous climate about 72km (45 miles) east of the city of Fort Pierce, the maritime safety company reported on Twitter.

The survivor informed authorities that he had left the Bahamas’ Bimini islands with 39 different individuals on Saturday night time, and that that they had not been sporting lifejackets, the Coast Guard added.

Cutter vessels and plane have been deployed to go looking an space stretching from Bimini to Fort Pierce to search out the lacking.

The Coast Guard mentioned it was treating the incident as a case of suspected human smuggling.

The nationality of these on board just isn’t but recognized.

Migrants have lengthy used the islands of the Bahamas as a stepping stone to achieve Florida and the US, with the Bimini Islands solely about 80km (50 miles) east of Miami.

Smugglers sometimes attempt to make the most of breaks within the climate to make the crossing, however the vessels are sometimes dangerously overloaded and susceptible to capsizing. There have been 1000’s of deaths through the years.

The most recent accident follows one other ill-fated crossing final week when the authorities rescued 32 individuals whose boat capsized west of Bimini, Coast Guard spokesperson, Petty Officer Jose Hernandez informed the Reuters information company.

Most of these trying the crossing come from Haiti and Cuba.

Not less than 557 Cuban migrants in all have been picked up at sea by the Coast Guard since October, in keeping with the company.

Crossings by Haitians have additionally grown extra frequent because the Caribbean island nation offers with financial and political crises, in addition to gang-related kidnappings.

The Coast Guard mentioned it had intercepted a minimum of 159 Haitian nationals this fiscal yr.

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