U.S. Coast Guard Crews Search for 5 People After Boat Capsizes 14 Miles Off Florida Coast

Good Samaritans and partner agency crews rescued 8 people

Coast Guard crews are searching for five people in the water after a boat capsized approximately 14 miles south of Sugarloaf Key. (U.S. Coast Guard image)

(U.S. COAST GUARD) – Coast Guard crews are searching for five people in the water after a boat capsized approximately 14 miles south of Sugarloaf Key.

Good Samaritans and partner agency crews rescued 8 people. Six people were transferred to emergency medical services for medical evaluation. Two people rescued in good health were transferred to a Coast Guard cutter.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation officers recovered two people deceased. They were transferred to the local medical examiner’s office.

Coast Guard Sector Key West watchstanders received multiple reports of capsized vessels and people in the water at approximately 10 a.m., Friday. It was determined a rustic vessel on an illegal voyage to the United States capsized with 15 people aboard.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of those who lost their lives off the Lower Keys,” said Rear Adm. Brendan McPherson, commander of the Seventh Coast Guard District.

“Our search continues for others that may have survived this tragic incident. This situation highlights the risks these migrants face as they attempt to enter the United States illegally by sea.”

“The Florida Straits and its approaches can be hazardous for even the best trained and equipped mariners. For people illegally migrating aboard unseaworthy or overloaded boats and homemade rafts, who lack basic lifesaving equipment like life jackets, those risks can often prove deadly.”

Crews involved in the search:

■ Air Station Miami

■ Cutter Issac Mayo

■ Cutter Pablo Valent

■ Cutter Dauntless

■ Station Key West

■ Station Marathon

■ Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation

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