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Coast Guard says 16 people missing off Florida coast; 1 rescued

Trio stuck on island for 33 days rescued
Trio stuck on island for 33 days rescued 04:01

The United States Coat Guard said 16 people went missing from two separate boats off the coast of Florida. Officials said 10 people went missing near Key West while six others disappeared off the coast of Fort Pierce.

The agency said Monday that the search for the boaters off Fort Pierce had been suspended after searching an area 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, commander of Coast Guard Sector Miami. "We offer our deepest sympathies to the friends and families of those involved during this difficult time."  

The Coast Guard tweeted late Sunday that it had located the boat used by the 10 people that went missing about 8 miles south of Long Key.  The Guard posted two images of the vessel, saying "the search continues."

The first search began Friday morning when a boater rescued a Jamaican national who said six others were with him when their 18-foot vessel overturned two days earlier about 23 miles offshore from Fort Pierce.

They were en route from Bimini, Bahamas, according to the Coast Guard, but the agency did not mention where their boat was headed.

The Coast Guard said it dispatched three cutters and an airplane to search the area, but they were unable to find the missing boaters.

The rescued man was transported ashore for medical treatment.

Last week, the Coast Guard rescued three Cuban nationals who were stranded for more than a month on a desert island in the Bahamas.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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