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U.S. Coast Guard finds one body in search for missing after boat capsizes off Florida

Rescue teams have found one body in their search for 39 people reported missing after their boat capsized off Florida’s coast, the U.S. Coast Guard said on Wednesday (January 26), in what is being called a human smuggling attempt gone awry.

Coast Guard Commander Jo-Ann Burdian said during a news conference in Miami Beach that search and rescue efforts would continue for survivors, a day after a good Samaritan found a man perched on the mostly submerged hull of the overturned boat in the Atlantic Ocean and rescued him.

“We do suspect that this is a case of human smuggling, as this event occurred in a normal route for human smuggling,” Burdian said, adding that U.S. Homeland Security officials were investigating the incident.

Burdian said a cutter crew found the deceased person. She said information about the person will not be released until their family is informed.

The good Samaritan, who was on a commercial vessel, alerted the Coast Guard, which dispatched rescue vessels and aircraft to search for more victims.

The survivor told authorities he had left the Bahamas’ Bimini islands, about 50 miles (80 km) east of Miami, in a boat with 39 other people on Saturday night, the Coast Guard said.

(Production: Pavithra George)

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