Coast Guard suspends search for 9 missing migrants near West Palm Beach, Fla.

Southeastern Coast Guard News
MIAMI — The Coast Guard suspended its search for nine missing suspected migrants after they were safely located by U.S. Border Patrol agents near West Palm Beach, Fla., Wednesday.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Miami received notification from U.S. Border Patrol at 5:09 a.m., that approximately 10 migrants disembarked an unknown vessel in water and swam ashore in the vicinity of Palm Beach Country Club. The Coast Guard immediately initiated a search.

Border Patrol agents located nine migrants who had reached shore and one deceased near Palm Beach Shores, Fla., after they reported they were dropped off in the water by an unknown vessel.

“Our heartfelt condolences go out to the family and friends of the young woman who lost her life 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,” added McPherson.

Assisting in the search were crews aboard:

  • Coast Guard Air Station Miami HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircraft and MH-65 rescue helicopter,
  • Coast Guard Cutter Dolphin,
  • Coast Guard Station Lake Worth Inlet, Fla.,
  • Coast Guard Station Miami Beach, Fla.,
  • U.S. Border Patrol, and
  • Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office.

More than 232 square miles were searched by multiple search and rescue crews over a nine-hour period.

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