One Body Found With 38 Still Missing In Suspected Human Smuggling Boat Accident
A sole survivor has been found by the coast guard in Florida after a suspected human smuggling boat capsized in the area.
The boat is believed to have had around 40 people on board. Along with the individual survivor, one body has been recovered.
The survivor was found clinging to the capsized boat roughly 45 miles east of Fort Pierce Inlet.
#Breaking: US Coast Guard says 1 person rescued, 1 person deceased, 38 still missing after boat capsizes 40 miles off Florida along a known human smuggling route. Homeland Security investigating. @TND pic.twitter.com/Y2IcwjVo0d— Cayle Thompson (@CayleThompson) January 26, 2022
'It is dire. The longer they remain in the water ... exposed to the marine environment ... with every moment that passes, it becomes much more dire and more unlikely' survivors will be found, Capt. Jo-Ann F. Burdian told Tampa Bay Times.
Search and rescue teams worked throughout Tuesday, January 25, and into the night in an effort to find more people. Crews on four ships and five aircraft have been scanning an area the size of New Jersey, Burdian said, in an attempt to locate survivors.
The sole survivor told the person who rescued him he was part of a group of 40 people, which departed from the island of Bimini in the Bahamas on January 22. The maritime security agency believes this could have been a human smuggling operation.
#UPDATE @USCG crews are still searching. The good Sam notified #USCG Sector #Miami watchstanders, Tuesday, at approx. 8 a.m. after rescuing a man on a capsized vessel. Multiple cutters & aircraft are searching from #Bimini, #Bahamas to #FortPierce Inlet.— USCGSoutheast (@USCGSoutheast) January 25, 2022
More updates follow. pic.twitter.com/kCVQ4LCaTe
According to the survivor, none of the passengers were wearing life jackets as the boat capsized in stormy weather.
The passenger was taken to hospital to be treated for dehydration and sun exposure, after he was found sitting on the hull of the upturned boat 45 miles (72 kilometres) east of Fort Pierce.
The US Coast Guard is continuing its search.
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