Coast Guard Searching for 38 Still Missing After Boat Sinks Off Fort Pierce

Human Smuggling Suspected

JAN. 24, 2022 | FORT PIERCE–The U.S. Coast Guard is coordinating a search for 38 people after their boat reportedly capsized on Saturday night about 42 miles east of the Fort Pierce Inlet. The incident is suspected to be related to human smuggling.

One body has been recovered.

A good Samaritan rescued one person from a capsized 25-foot vessel off Fort Pierce Inlet on Tuesday. The survivor has been brought to a local hospital for symptoms of dehydration and sun exposure.

The survivor reported he left Bimini, Bahamas with 39 other people Saturday night and encountered severe weather, causing the vessel to capsize Sunday morning. He also reported no one was wearing life jackets.

The good Samaritan reported to Sector Miami watchstanders at 8 a.m. Tuesday that he had rescued a man clinging to a capsized vessel.

Coast Guard cutter crews began searching at approximately 8:20 a.m. and searched more than 1,300 square miles, about the size of Rhode Island.

Coast Guard air and surface crews continued the search throughout the night.

The Coast Guard Seventh District was scheduled to hold a press conference Wednesday morning at Coast Guard Sector Miami.

Crews helping with the search:

  • Coast Guard Cutter Ibis crew
  • Coast Guard Cutter Etheridge crew
  • Coast Guard Cutter Skipjack crew
  • Coast Guard Station Fort Pierce¬†45-foot response boat-medium crews
  • Coast Guard Air Station Miami HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircrew
  • Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater HC-60 Jayhawk Helicopter aircrew
  • Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater C-130 Hercules aircrew
  • Navy 2nd Fleet aircrew
  • Coast Guard Auxiliary¬†Tiger aircrew
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