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6 People on a Floating Raft Go Missing off Florida Coastal Area

Jené Liebenberg
Feb 17, 2021
03:20 P.M.
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After a 140 hour search for 6 people that have gone missing after their boat capsized, the Coast Guard has decided to suspend their search. 

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The Coast Guard has been in the water about 23 miles from Fort Pierce, searching for 6 missing persons after it was reported that their boat was capsized. 

After departing Bimini, Bahamas, the boat capsized, leaving seven people in the open water. A boat picked up one of the individuals and called in the rescue. The rescued person informed the Coast Guard that there were six others still missing. 

Coast guard searching in the sea | Source: Pixabay/Elsemargriet

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FORT PIERCE RESCUE 

With the survivor taken ashore to receive the necessary medical care, the Coast Guard launched a search for the six remaining missing persons, with their efforts stretching over 140 hours. 

The crew's search spanned over 10,694 miles, and they involved the Florida Wing Civil Air Patrol to gain an aerial view of the water. With no success in their search, the Coast Guard has suspended the search. Capt. JoAnn Burdian said:

“The decision to suspend a search-and-rescue case is never one we come to lightly. We offer our deepest sympathies to the friends and families of those involved.”

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10 MORE MISSING 

Whilst the search for the six people east of Fort Pierce was called off, the Coast Guard was involved in another search mission South of Key West with 10 people missing. 

The rescue team launched a search early in January for 20 people who were reported as missing. 

The second group of people was reported missing after leaving Havana, Cuba, for Florida on February 7, 2021. They were traveling in a six-foot vessel which was located 8 miles south of Long Key. 

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THE SEARCH CONTINUES

Although the Coast Guard has been unable to locate the missing persons from the two mentioned groups, the rescue team found 3 Cuban men after being stranded on a Bahama island for 33 days. 

Their vessel capsized in turbulent water, leaving the group to swim to a deserted island where they survived on coconuts for over a month before the Coast Guard officials found them. Coast Guard liaison officer to Cuba released a statement saying:

 “The Coast Guard and our partner agencies will continue to rescue and repatriate undocumented migrants who take to the sea in unseaworthy vessels."

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NEVER A DULL MOMENT

The Coast Guard has had a hectic two months, with them having to perform one rescue followed by another. The rescue team launched a search early in January for 20 people who were reported as missing. 

The 29-foot Mako Cuddy Cabin boat had left the Bahamas with Lake Worth, Florida as their intended destination, but when the boat and its 20 people onboard never arrived, a report was filed. 

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The Coast Guard called off the search for the 20 people after three and a half days, which involved a big crew including the Royal Bahamas Defence Force surface units and the Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater C-130 Hercules aircrew. 

With an increase in vessels that are not sea-worthy making the journey over Florida's treacherous waters, the Coast Guard has had to perform more and more search and rescue missions in the area. 

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