Coast Guard responds to capsized migrant-smuggling boat off Palm Beach County

7th Coast Guard District News
MIAMI — The Coast Guard responded to a capsized vessel off Palm Beach County Tuesday morning.

The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Knight Island rescued 10 people from the capsized 24-foot recreational boat.

Additionally, one person was pulled from the water and transferred ashore to awaiting EMS personnel at the Riviera Beach Marina for medical concerns, and another person was located deceased beneath the capsized boat by the Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office Dive Team.

The crew of the Knight Island first spotted the vessel around 2:30 a.m. operating without navigational lights about 24 miles east of Delray Beach, Fla. Once stopped, the Knight Island crew observed numerous people emerging from the boat’s lower cabin. The vessel was about 12 miles east of Riviera Beach, Fla., when it capsized at 4:30 a.m., sending all its passengers into the water.

The boat drifted as far north as Jensen Beach, Fla., and the search and rescue case spanned four hours until all persons were accounted for.

The 10 persons rescued by the cutter Knight Island, all of whom are in good condition, are claiming Jamaican nationality. They currently remain aboard the Knight Island. The Coast Guard and its partner agencies are investigating the circumstances surrounding this apparent migrant-smuggling voyage and its tragic consequences.

Also involved in the search were:

  • The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Chandeleur, a 110-foot patrol boat homeported in Miami Beach, Fla.
  • Boatcrews from Coast Guard Station Lake Worth Inlet, Fla.
  • Boatcrews from Coast Guard Station Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
  • A Coast Guard Air Station Miami HC-144A Ocean Sentry aircrew
  • An Air Station Miami MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew

The cutter Knight Island is a 110-foot patrol boat homeported in Key West, Fla.

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