Four people have been confirmed dead and another hospitalized after a boat capsized early Wednesday morning off the Florida coast. Fox News stated that the US Coast Guard responded around 1am, when a 911 call alerted authorities to an overturned boat seven miles east of Miami. Along with the four bodies found, around a dozen survivors were clinging onto the boat’s hull.
ABC News reported that both Haitian and Jamaican nationals were found at the scene of the capsized boat. Petty Officer Mark Barney said that the nationalities of the rest of the group were not immediately known. Fox News confirmed that the surviving group was taken into custody and authorities were investigating whether the boat’s passengers were part of a human smuggling operation.
This news comes just days after a migrant ship capsized near Sicily while carrying close to 200 passengers. In that incident, about two dozen passengers drowned. In another sinking earlier in the week, a migrant ship capsized in the same area and left at least 339 people dead. According to The Inquisitr, these incidents prompted the United Nations human rights office to urge the European Union to try and prevent another disaster.
In the case of the capsized boat off of the Florida coast, there are conflicting reports as to how many people where actually on the boat at the time it capsized. The four victims were all females, and a fifth woman was hospitalized and released.
According to Fox News, Commander Darren Caprara has stated that the Coast Guard is no longer searching for possible survivors. The report also stated that all survivors were in good condition, though they were still on a Coast Guard vessel at sea and it was unclear whether they would be brought to the U.S. or repatriated.