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U.S. Coast Guard searches for 39 people after capsize

By Simon Druker
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U.S. Coast Guard searches for 39 people after capsize
The U.S. Coast Guard searched Tuesday between Fort Pierce Inlet, Fla., and the Bahamas for 39 people believed to be lost at sea after a vessel capsized in rough water. Photo courtesy U.S. Coast Guard 

Jan. 25 (UPI) -- The U.S. Coast Guard on Tuesday actively searched for 39 people believed to be lost at sea after a boat capsized in rough water between Florida and the Bahamas.

The Coast Guard's Seventh District referred to the case a "suspected human smuggling venture."

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"Multiple cutters & aircraft are searching from #Bimini, #Bahamas to #FortPierce Inlet," the Coast Guard tweeted.

The Coast Guard said a good samaritan on Tuesday morning rescued a single survivor who had been clinging to a capsized vessel approximately 45 miles east of Fort Pierce Inlet in Florida, and alerted authorities to the 39 missing people.

"The survivor reported he left Bimini, Bahamas, with 39 other people Saturday night and encountered severe weather, causing the vessel to capsize. According to the survivor, no one was wearing a life jacket. Coast Guard air and surface asset crews are actively searching for people in the water. This is a suspected human smuggling venture," tweeted the Coast Guard.

It is not clear what the boat's final destination was.

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