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Coast Guard searches for 39 people after boat overturns in waters off Florida

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Posted at 2:17 PM, Jan 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-25 14:17:36-05

FORT PIERCE, Fla. — U.S. Coast Guard officials said they are looking for 39 people missing since Saturday after their boat overturned off the Florida coast.

In a statement released Tuesday, the Coast Guard said a good Samaritan rescued a man clinging to an overturned vessel 45 miles east of the Fort Pierce Inlet.

The man who was rescued said he left with 39 others on the boat Saturday night from Bimini, Bahamas.

He said their vessel encountered bad weather and rough seas, causing the boat to overturn. No one aboard was wearing life jackets, according to the survivor.

The Coast Guard said it is currently searching from the air and the water looking for the missing 39 people.

Officials suspect the boat was part of a human smuggling operation.

This story was originally published by Scott Sutton of WPTV.