Two dead, 10 believed missing from capsized boat off Florida

Eight survivors were pulled from the water 29km south-west of Key West by crew members of a Coast Guard cutter on patrol.
Eight survivors were pulled from the water 29km south-west of Key West by crew members of a Coast Guard cutter on patrol.PHOTO: NYTIMES

MIAMI (REUTERS) - Two people were killed and 10 others were believed to be missing from a boat that capsized off Key West, Florida, the United States Coast Guard reported on Thursday (May 27).

Eight survivors were pulled from the water 29km south-west of Key West by crew members of a cutter on patrol in the area at about 1pm, Coast Guard spokesman Petty Officer Jose Hernandez said.

He added that two bodies were recovered. Coast Guard teams continued to search the area by aircraft and vessels for 10 people who, according to the survivors, were unaccounted for after the boat flipped, Mr Hernandez told Reuters by phone.

He said he had no information on the type or size of the boat, how it capsized, or if weather conditions may have been a factor.

He added that he did not know what the vessel or its occupants were doing at the time of the accident. The survivors told Coast Guard officials that it occurred in darkness.

Separately on Thursday, the Coast Guard repatriated eight Cuban migrants who were intercepted off the coast of Islamorada in the Florida Keys last week while trying to cross the Florida Strait in a raft.

Nearly 300 Cuban migrants have been likewise interdicted since last October, the Coast Guard said.

Earlier this month, a vessel packed with 32 people capsized and broke apart off a rocky shoal near San Diego, California, in what the authorities said was an ill-fated migrant-smuggling attempt from Mexico that left three dead and five hospitalised.