Coast Guard recovers 27 people, continues searching near Boynton Beach

MIAMI — The Coast Guard is continuing the search for missing people in the water after a vessel capsized about 15 miles east of Boynton Beach, Fla., Wednesday.

In total, 27 people have been recovered of which 10 are deceased. The Coast Guard will continue searching throughout the evening with the following assets:

  • The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Cormorant
  • The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Drummond
  • An HH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Miami
  • An HU-25 Falcon jet crew from Coast Guard Air Station Miami
  • A smallboat crew from Coast Guard Station Lake Worth Inlet, Fla.

A good Samaritan contacted the Coast Guard around 12:30 p.m. Wednesday reporting numerous people in the water and that he had recovered three. The Coast Guard immediately launched a helicopter and jet crews from Coast Guard Air Station Miami, two smallboat crews from Coast Guard Station Lake Worth Inlet, Fla., and the cutter Cormorant crew.

Also assisting in the search are:

  • Customs and Border Protection
  • Immigrations and Customs Enforcement
  • Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office
  • Boynton Beach Police Department
  • Lake Worth Police Department

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One Comment

  1. James P. Sutherland says:

    What a tragedy – but not the first time nor probably the last.
    Haitians have been leaving their country for years for economic reasons. They paid large sums of money to be smuggled to the U.S. Virtually all of the boats used would be considered “unsafe”, grossly “overloaded” and no PFD’s, but they continue to leave Port du Paix for the “golden” shores of the States.

    In June 1984 the late Harold Boyce, INS agent assigned to the Haitian Migrant Interdiction Operation (HMIO) was deployed on a cutter along with a Haitian interpreter Jacque. After hailing a 45′ HA sailing vessel, she came up into the wind and secured the sheets. Both officers boarded the vessel to prepare them to be taken aboard the cutter. In the ensuing confusion of 200 POB trying to board rescue boats, the vessels capsized throwing all into the Atlantic.

    After being attacked by 200 Haitians, Mr. Boyce gave up his PFD to the crazed victims while he desperately struggled to remain on the the surface and provide assistance. Jacque was immediately over powered and drowned. His body and 17 other Haitians were recovered. After the investigation, boarding procedures were changed to include the use of large life rafts maneuvered close to the vessel.

    The surviving Haitians boarded the cutter, given medical exams and treatment, fed, interviews to assure they were “economic refugees” and taken to Port au Prince where they met the International Red Cross. Mr. Boyce was awarded the Gold Life Saving Medal. Despite this tragedy, the Haitians continue their voyages to the U.S.
    James P. Sutherland, CDR, USCG retired, D7 HMIO 1981-1984