Crews suspend search for missing person off Florida coast

Published On: Feb 07 2014 08:23:10 PM EST

Crews have suspended their search for a missing person following the capsizing of a 24-foot boat 75 miles northeast of West Palm Beach.

The incident was reported by the crew of His Netherlands Majesty's Ship Zeeland to a Coast Guard command center Thursday.

Coast Guard officials said the crew reported they were at the scene of a capsized boat with seven suspected migrants atop the hull.

Upon discovering the boat, seven people were rescued and three others were found dead, officials said.

"Our heartfelt condolences go out to the family and friends of the people who lost their lives in this tragedy," said Capt. Brendan McPherson, Coast Guard Seventh District chief of response. "This is a tragic loss of life that appears to be at the hands of ruthless smugglers. Illegal migration is risky and dangerous. Anyone transiting aboard a vessel attempting to enter the U.S. illegally risks suffering serious injuries or death."

The Coast Guard said search-and-rescue crews searched a total 806 square miles.


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