Coast Guard suspends search for missing people off Sugarloaf Key

Capsized vessel near Sugarloaf Key, Florida, March 31, 2022. Monroe County Sheriff’s Office deputies notified Sector Key West watchstanders of a migrant landing with seven people apprehended. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

Capsized vessel near Sugarloaf Key, Florida, March 31, 2022.  (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

MIAMI — The Coast Guard suspended the search for the possible people missing at sea, Saturday, at approximately 8 p.m., from a migrant venture, pending new information.

Monroe County Sheriff’s Office deputies notified Sector Key West watchstanders of a migrant landing, Thursday, at approximately 9:30 p.m. with seven people apprehended near Sugarloaf Key.

The seven survivors were brought to the Lower Keys Medical Center to be treated for symptoms of dehydration and hyperthermia and were subsequently transferred to U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers for further investigation.

The survivors reported there were additional people missing.

MCSO deputies recovered one body from the capsized vessel during their search and rescue operation.

“Our sincere condolences go out to the family and friends of those lost at sea,” said Chief Warrant Officer Jamey Kinney, Coast Guard Sector Key West search and rescue mission coordinator. “The Coast Guard and our local partner agencies exhaustively worked together on this search. Unfortunately, we have come to the most difficult time in any search and rescue case and that is the point at which we decide when to suspend the search.”

Coast Guard cutter crews began searching at approximately 10 p.m., Thursday, and searched more than 395 square miles.

Crews who helped with the search:

  • Coast Guard Station Key West small boat crew
  • Coast Guard Air Station Miami HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircrew and MH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircrew
  • Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter aircrew
  • MCSO deputies
  • CBP officers
  • Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission crews

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