U.S. Coast Guard Searches for 16 People Missing Off the South Florida Coast

The U.S. Coast Guard crews were deployed on Sunday to search for 16 individuals who went missing after two separate boats capsized off the coast of Florida, officials said in a news release.

The USCG Seventh District Southeast said the first rescue operation was launched after a good Samaritan, together with the Coast Guard Sector Miami watchstanders, rescued a Jamaican national from the water approximately 23 miles off the coast of Fort Pierce.

According to the Coast Guard, the man was found two days after his boat capsized on its way from Bimini, Bahamas. The survivor said there were six other people on the boat with him when the tragedy occurred.

However, the agency said on Monday that the rescue operation for the six missing individuals has been suspended after searching the location of more than 10,000 miles for a total of 140 hours.

“The decision to suspend a search-and-rescue case is never one we come to lightly,” said Capt. JoAnn Burdian, the commander of Coast Guard Sector Miami. “We offer our deepest sympathies to the friends and families of those involved during this difficult time.”

The second search-and-rescue operation began after a 6-foot makeshift vessel had gone missing off the coast of Key West.

Authorities said the boat left Havana, Cuba on Friday, with 10 people on board.

The USCG Seventh District said in a tweet that the vessel was found approximately eight miles south of Long Key.

Authorities said the Coast Guard had deployed search planes and boats as the look for survivors.

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