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Dozens missing from capsized boat off Florida


Capt. Jo-Ann F. Burdian gives updates on the search for missing migrants at a news conference in Miami Beach, Fla., on Wednesday. Associated Press/Photo by Marta Lavandier

Dozens missing from capsized boat off Florida

Coast Guard crews battled time and strong waves on Wednesday while searching for debris and survivors from a 25-foot boat that capsized roughly 40 miles from Fort Pierce, Fla. The only survivor found so far said no one was wearing a life jacket. The boat capsized Saturday evening, and currents pushed it north. One body has been recovered. U.S. Coast Guard Capt. Jo-Ann Burdian said crews were searching an area roughly the size of New Jersey.

How did this happen? A merchant vessel discovered one survivor sitting on top of the overturned boat on Tuesday morning. He reported that 40 passengers were coming from the island of Bimini in the Bahamas in what the Coast Guard suspects was a human smuggling operation. The Bahamas are frequently used as a midway point to get to the United States, but the crossing is subject to dangerous winds and waves. Human smuggling boats are also often overloaded and prone to capsizing. The survivor is now in the custody of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, which is also investigating the case.

Dig deeper: Read Mindy Belz’s update in WORLD Magazine on the refugee crisis around the world.


Carolina Lumetta

Carolina is a reporter for WORLD Digital. She is a World Journalism Institute and Wheaton College graduate. She resides in Harrisburg, Pa.

@CarolinaLumetta

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